Thatcham train station on West Berkshire Council “radar” for upgrade
Thatcham Town Council is opening up “dialogue and engagement” with West Berkshire Council to go forward with its train station upgrade.
In a recent planning and highways meeting, it was announced that the council recently met with West Berkshire Council to discuss the prospect of receiving "support" for progression with the upgrade.
Thatcham councillors discussed the various upgrade proposals that they wish to put forward for the station.
Passenger access was considered a “priority” and there was reference made to fitting lifts on the existing footbridge on the site.
Additionally, there was discussion about a need to consider an extension to Thatcham station parking facilities on the north side, specifically, relocating the main car park, which is currently situated on the south side of the track, to the north side.
The north side of the station may also see a new ticket machine, along with shelters.
The absence of toilets at the station was raised, with initial worry from West Berkshire Council surrounding the plumbing issues that may come with installing this type of facility.
However, it was suggested that, should the station go forward for a bigger upgrade, toilets may be considered.
Transport links to and from the station were also discussed.
Should the proposed 2,500 home development in Thatcham go ahead, there will be potential for Reading buses to improve transport links to the station.
However Richard Foster (Lib Dem, Thatcham Colthrop & Crookham) said that irrespective of planning developments, greater transport links should be on the cards.
He added: “I really think we should go back to them [West Berkshire Council] and say that we need a bus to connect to the station completely independent of any new developments.”
Mr Foster said that this should be something that is considered “urgent” within West Berkshire Council.
David Lister (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) added: “It seems incredible to me that West Berkshire Council are trying to make some of these improvements conditional on this new provisional development which may or may not go ahead, which may or may not happen in the next 20 or 30 years.”
In moving these proposals forward, Thatcham Town Council is looking to enter into further discussions with Great Western Railway and Network Rail as well as West Berkshire Council.