Sharma welcomes Government funding of new carriages for rail passengers in Reading

22nd November 2011

Alok Sharma, Member of Parliament for Reading West today welcomed the Government’s announcement, by Rail Minister Theresa Villiers, that passengers in the Thames Valley will benefit from nearly 4,500 additional seats each day into and out of London Paddington. The majority of these services will also provide additional capacity into Reading.

The extra seats are being added thanks to Government funding for an additional 48 carriages on First Great Western services which run through Reading and the Thames Valley and into London Paddington as well as in Bristol and the far south west of England. The extra carriages, which are planned to come into service in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games, will be deployed on morning and evening peak services serving the capital and commuting towns including Reading.

Alok said: “As a result of this £28.9 million investment, Reading will see 1,483 extra seats available during the morning peak and 1,731 extra seats during the evening peak hours which will be welcome news for many of my constituents who, like me, commute every day. Overcrowding has been a feature of travelling to London at peak times for many years and I am extremely pleased that these new Government-funded carriages will help to take some of the pressure off overcrowding.”

Alok continued: “Despite being left with some awful public finances by the previous Labour administration, the Government is funding an £850 million major expansion of Reading Station and providing an additional £9.6 million for the scheme to improve road access to the upgraded station, which I and others successfully campaigned for. Earlier this year, Reading also received a further £4.9 million of Government funding for green travel initiatives for the town.”

Photo: Alok and Rail Minister Theresa Villiers with First Great Western CEO Mark Hopwood and Reading East MP Rob Wilson.