Investment at Theale Railway station brings improved facilities
A multi-million-pound upgrade to Theale Railway station is due to begin this year, with plans set to include:
- Improved accessibility across the station, with a footbridge and lifts to connect platforms on both sides of the tracks funded by the Department for Transport's (DfT) Access for All (AfA) programme. Plus step-free access to the new station building and both platforms which will allow the station to be fully accessible to all rail users for the first time.
- Replacing the existing ticket office with the building located closer to the new footbridge and designed to meet modern accessibility standards in full.
- Upgrading and opening new toilets.
- Expansion of the existing car park to include a new entrance, improved drop-off and turning facility from Brunel Road for taxis and rail replacement buses, electric vehicle charging points, improved facilities for cyclists, motorcycle parking, plus provision of a new car park deck which will increase parking capacity by more than 33% to 300 spaces.
- Overhauling the road and pavement for better accessibility to the station along Station Road and Brunel Road, including wayfinding signage and replacement of width restriction bollards.
Network Rail engineers will start work this summer preceding GWR who will commence their work in November. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2022.
In addition to Access for All this project has been made possible through a £4 million grant from Local Growth Deal funding via the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
This money was secured recently by West Berkshire Council and GWR which will be put to use very soon when improvements to the cycle and pedestrian routes to the station start as the first phase of the wider scheme.
Bob Mountain, Vice Chair of the Berkshire Local Transport Body and Board Director at Thames Valley Berkshire LEP said: “We’re delighted to hear work will commence on Theale Railway Station. Our investment through Government’s Local Growth Deal into this project will not only create a much better environment for passengers but will provide more attractive, safer and inclusive access. It will also improve the connectivity within Berkshire. It shows how Thames Valley Berkshire LEP acts a magnet for further investment and regeneration, by continuing to drive forward with our mission of sustainable economic growth.”
Cllr Richard Somner, Executive Member for Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said:
"We are delighted this project will provide much needed improvement for staff and passengers at Theale Railway station.
"There will be disruption during this time but it will be kept to a minimum with access maintained to the platforms during the works.
"Work is scheduled to commence in mid-March 2021, starting with the road works, pedestrian and cycle routes to the station. This is the first phase of the Theale Station upgrade project. Work on the station site itself will be happening later on this year.
"The Council, GWR and Network Rail will work together to deliver these significant and wide-ranging improvements for Theale station.
"By improving our train stations and the facilities they offer, we hope to encourage residents and commuters to choose more sustainable ways to travel to help reduce our carbon footprint."
Victoria Bradley, Network Rail sponsor, said:
"We're delighted that funding has been secured to improve accessibility and the facilities at Theale station.
"We're looking forward to commencing work this summer and are excited by the positive changes this work will have for our passengers."
Accessibility Minister, Chris Heaton- Harris said:
"I am delighted that our Access for All programme will fund a new footbridge and lifts at Theale station. We are committed to ensuring the transport network is accessible for everyone and this project is another fantastic step towards fully inclusive travel."