- New information points outside Reading Station will make it easier for visitors to find their way around town
- Additional CCTV for station cycle hub to be installed
VISITORS will benefit from the installation of three new information points placed around Reading Station to help them find their way around the town.
Known as ‘wayfinding’ signs, they feature maps with a wealth of useful information for visitors on how to find key destinations around the centre of Reading, including transport interchanges, local landmarks and key points of interest, educational facilities, cycle parking, parks and open spaces, shopping streets, local centres and road names.
The new signs begin to replace previous out of date information points dotted around the town centre. They also complement existing pedestrian signage installed as part of the Council’s Abbey Quarter project.
The Council’s ambition is to roll them out in other parts of Reading as part of a longer-term strategy of enhanced information for pedestrians and cyclists, but this is subject to future successful funding bids.
Council officers worked closely with local councillors, Network Rail and local community groups to ensure the new signs include some of Reading’s key destinations and historic landmarks. The new units are located in front of the main station access on the Southern Interchange, Station Hill, in line with the station subway, and in front of the north Station access on the Northern Interchange.
Funding for the new ‘wayfinding’ signs was secured by Reading Borough Council from Great Western Railway’s Customer and Communities Improvement Fund. A total of £36,000 of funding will pay for the new signs, as well as important new CCTV cameras at Reading’s largest cycle hub, located at the Northern Interchange. The cycle hub has suffered from bike thefts in the past.
The new CCTV cameras – expected to be operational in early 2021 – will be connected to the central CCTV facility overseen by the Council and Thames Valley Police. It sits along new bike security marking initiatives which will launch alongside this.
Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“Whether for business or recreation, Reading remains the de facto capital of the Thames Valley and a major visitor destination in the south east region. While the ongoing pandemic may have temporarily curtailed people’s movements, it is important we make the area around Reading Station as welcoming as possible, and make it easy for people to easily and quickly find their way around.
“The three new signs achieve that by signposting people to key landmarks, including bus stops, shopping centres and road names, and I’d like to thank local ward Councillors for their important input into that process.
“In the coming months new CCTV will also be installed at Reading’s biggest cycle hub on the Caversham side of the station, which we know has been the victim of some bike thefts since it opened. The new cameras will be linked to a central CCTV unit which is constantly monitored, bringing an extra level of reassurance to the hundreds of cyclists who park their bikes at the hub every week.”
Tom MacLachlan, Regional Development Manager for Great Western Railway, said:
“Improving information and security at stations are important issues for our customers and GWR is delighted to be able to support these enhancements, working with our partners at Reading Borough Council through the Customer and Communities Improvement Fund.”
Susan Evans, Network Rail’s Head of Stations and Passenger Experience, said:
“We are proud to be a part of the Reading community and the new wayfinding signs will help give the many visitors to the town the perfect welcome. Reading Station has been transformed in recent years and this is another step forwards in improving the area and making the station even better connected with the rest of the town.”