RAIL passengers will benefit from the best possible facilities after an new injection of funding for the new Green Park Station.
Reading Borough Council has been working with rail industry partners to address budget pressures which are the result of changes to the design and the delivery timetable for the new station. The Council has secured an additional £2.477m from the Government’s New Stations Fund, and £550k from Thames Valley Berkshire LEP’s (Local Enterprise Partnership) Local Growth Fund, for Green Park Station.
It brings the overall budget for Green Park to £20.077m and means no further Council funding will be required. The station is due to be open for passenger use in winter 2020.
Green Park Station will sit on the Reading to Basingstoke line and will be served by a 20 minute service north to Reading and south to Basingstoke through the day. It will consist of two platforms with disabled access, including fully accessible toilet facilities, and a multi-modal interchange with a surface level car park and drop-off facility, bus stops, taxi rank and cycle parking.
When complete, the new station will help to alleviate queues on the busy A33 by offering an alternative sustainable mode of travel. It will significantly improve accessibility to the south Reading area which has large-scale development proposed, including the expansion of Green Park Business Park, Green Park Village residential development and the proposed Royal Elm Park mixed-use development. The station will also be served by buses operating on the South Reading Mass Rapid Transit route between Mereoak park & ride and Reading town centre.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This is a very welcome injection of new funding which means passengers using the new Green Park Station will benefit from the best possible facilities within an agreed budget envelope. The Council has been working behind the scenes and with our partners in the rail industry and at the Local Enterprise Partnership, to address on going budget pressures. I’m pleased to say the station is now fully funded as a result of this additional money.
“Green Park Station will form an integral part of Reading’s ever growing sustainable transport infrastructure with more homes, businesses and leisure developments planned in the south of the borough. It will also be another option for football fans heading to Madejski on match days, again taking the pressure off our busy roads.”
Green Park Station is a Reading Borough Council led project and is being progressed in partnership with Network Rail and Great Western Railway (GWR), who will ultimately own and operate the station.
Balfour Beatty is designing and building the station on behalf of the Council. Design work for the multi-modal interchange and surface level car park is complete and construction began in March 2018. Detailed design work for the station is being progressed in parallel with the construction of the interchange, including a new planning application for the station building which was granted planning approval in September.
Green Park Station was initially granted approval by the Berkshire Local Transport body in November 2014 with £9.15m funded through Thames Valley Berkshire LEP’s Local Growth Fund. A further £5.6m will come from s106 developer contributions. In July 2017 the Department for Transport announced the further £2.3m of funding to ensure the station keeps pace with demand expected from proposed major new developments in the area.
The latest funding is outlined in an update report to Reading Borough Council’s Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee on Wednesday Nov 20th https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/documents/s9278/13%20Major%20Transport%20Projects%20Update%20-%20SEPT-C%20Nov%2019.pdf