Wed, 02 Sept 2020
SUGGESTIONS to make Thatcham station, and travelling to it, more environmentally friendly have been put forward.
The Department for Transport consultation asks for ideas to create a plan to decarbonise transport.
Thatcham Town Council Environmental Working Party, formed after the council declared a climate emergency last year, has put forward suggestions for the town.
They include a shuttle bus to the station and/or rerouting the Jet Black 1 service to include the station and improved signalling to differentiate between slow and fast trains to ease barrier closure time.
Improvements to the station include an enlarged northern car park and providing disabled access to the southern platform when the barriers are closed.
The group also said that schemes to encourage cycling to the station should be considered.
Uncomfortable seating on new trains and a lack of electrification beyond Newbury to Great Bedwyn was also highlighted as an incentive.
Great Western Railway ran its own consultation on ways to make rail travel greener.
The company said it would also provide “an opportunity to consider how we kickstart the return to rail post-lockdown, rekindling public support for modal shift from cars to public transport in support of local and regional climate change planning.”
Measures include more electrification, use of new technology such as battery-powered trains and better integration with bus, cycling and walking, as well as making rail more accessible and easier to use.
Discussing the scheme, Richard Foster (Lib Dem, Thatcham Colthrop and Crookham) said the company needed to look at the whole journey from the moment people leave their house until they reach their destination, including transport to the station, amount of car parking and bus routes.
Ellen Crumly (Con, Thatcham Central) said there needed to be a safe storage locker or location for storing bicycles at the station or CCTV.
Town council leader David Lister (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) said it wasn’t just about Thatcham, but broader issues around policy.
He said: “It’s the overall travel experience. It’s not just about the experience about being on a train, it’s about how you get there, it’s the transport links.
“Can you cycle? Are there bike holders on trains?”