Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, on Thursday 7th September invited Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP, to Theale Station to tour the station and discuss the progress of the upgrade works.
Other attendees of the meeting included Mark Langman, Network Rail Route Managing Director Western; Clare Kingswood, Head of Commercial Development for Great Western Railway; Nicola Scott, GWR Assistant Regional Development Manager East; Councillor Jeanette Clifford, Executive Member for Highways and Transport at West Berkshire Council; Jo Friend, Clerk to Theale Parish Council; Councillor Alan Macro and Andy Button from Theale’s Future.
The upgrade to Theale Station has already received funding from the Government’s Access for All scheme and will include improvements to the car park, new cycle parking, a refreshment area and new pedestrian entrance. The station will also benefit from an upgraded CCTV system. Alok played a pivotal role in lobbying for this funding, together with Theale’s Future (a sub-committee of Theale Parish Council).
Local representatives discussed the reasons for the delays to the upgrade works with the Rail Minister which included safety challenges in doing work in conjunction with electrification of the line. However, the Minister very clearly understood the need to deliver the upgrade and the visit was a valuable opportunity for him to hear the need for improvements directly from local representatives. The next step is for Network Rail to get started on any redesign work needed.
The local team was delighted to inform the Minister of the good news that, thanks to additional funding from West Berkshire Council which was secured through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, Theale Station will also benefit from a new ticket office which is planned to be open by the end of the year.
Alok Sharma MP said: “I was delighted to show the Minister around Theale Station and get him to meet all the key players engaged in the delivery of the upgrades at the station. The Minister clearly understood the need to deliver the upgrade to the station. The next step is for Network Rail to get started on any redesign work needed.”
Photo: Alok Sharma MP outside Theale Station with the Rail Minister, Paul Maynard MP and meeting with local representatives.