Theale railway station set for major upgrade
Disruption expected during the works, but platform access will be maintained
Theale railway station will get a major upgrade this year.
The works will expand facilities at the station with the aim of improving accessibility.
It has been commissioned by West Berkshire Council and train operator GWR (Great Western Railway) and will include better access across the station, with a footbridge and lifts connecting platforms on both sides of the tracks.
Step-free access to the new station building and both platforms will be created, as well as a new ticket office closer to the footbridge.
There will be an upgrade and expansion of the toilet facilities and the car park will be expanded, with a new entrance, improved drop-off and turning facilities from Brunel Road for taxis and rail replacement buses.
Electric vehicle charging points will be added and facilities for cyclists improved. Parking for motorcycles will be added.
Road and pavement work will improve accessibility to the station along Station Road and Brunel Road.
West Berkshire Council executive member for transport and countryside Richard Somner (Con, Tilehurst South and Holybrook) said: "We are delighted this project will provide much-needed improvement for staff and passengers at Theale railway station.
"There will be disruption during this time, but it will be kept to a minimum with access maintained to the platforms during the works."
Work is scheduled to start with road works, pedestrian and cycle routes to the station.
"This is the first phase of the Theale Station upgrade project.
"Work on the station site itself will be happening later on this year.
"The council, GWR and Network Rail will work together to deliver these significant and wide-ranging improvements for Theale Station.
"By improving our train stations and the facilities they offer, we hope to encourage residents and commuters to choose more sustainable ways to travel to help reduce our carbon footprint."
In all, the upgrades will increase parking capacity by more than 33 per cent, with 300 new spaces available for vehicles.
The upgrade was made possible by a £4m grant from Local Growth Deal funding via the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
It is expected that the works will be completed by summer 2022.
Network Rail sponsor Victoria Bradley said: "We're delighted that funding has been secured to improve accessibility and the facilities at Theale Station.
"We're looking forward to commencing work this summer and are excited by the positive changes this work will have for our passengers."
Accessibility minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: "I am delighted that our Access for All programme will fund a new footbridge and lifts at Theale Station.
"We are committed to ensuring the transport network is accessible for everyone and this project is another fantastic step towards fully inclusive travel."