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Reading upgrade team launch public exhibition

Information about changes to Reading station are on public exhibition today and tomorrow. The station improvements are to be completed in early April and are part of a wider £895m investment in the area.

The work will include new bus stops, taxi ranks, spaces for around 350 bicycles, a new public square and new paving as well as a newly refurbished subway.

The whole Reading improvement scheme also includes construction of a new train care depot, a viaduct to grade separate the tracks and help unclog the bottleneck near the station, new signalling and the introduction of new overhead line equipment.

Network Rail’s deputy programme director, Jim Weeden, said: “From 1 March, the bridge linking the multi-storey car park to the station will close for good. For four weeks, people will be able to use a temporary walking route via the new subway. Those using the new temporary walking route will need to allow up to an additional 15 minutes to get to their trains.

“We have to do this because the current bridge sits in the way of new platforms which have to be finished by April, so it has to be removed. We realise this will be an inconvenience to passengers and are sorry for this; if there was another way of completing the new platforms we would do it.”

Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s lead councillor for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “The re-opening of the newly refurbished subway underneath the station will provide an important route right into the town centre for people approaching the station from the northern side.

“Work is fast taking shape and I am sure residents and passengers using the station will appreciate these major improvements.”

First Great Western managing director, Mark Hopwood, said: “Network Rail has been able to complete the vast majority of the improvement work around Reading with little impact on our services, however the work this Easter simply can’t be completed without impacting customers’ journeys.

“While some journeys are likely to take longer than normal, our focus is making sure people can still get to where they want to go over the period. We will be running special services on diversionary routes, and will be providing alternative transport to minimise inconvenience as much as possible.”

Staff from Network Rail, First Great Western, Reading Borough Council and contractors will be on hand to answer questions from 7.30am – 6.30pm.

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