Crossrail could be extended to Reading

Crossrail could be extended to Reading

Reporter:

Daniel Darlington

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Crossrail could be extended to Reading

The Government is 'safeguarding' the route between Maidenhead and Reading to allow for a possible future extension of the Crossrail line.

The current plan is for the western terminus to be in Maidenhead but calls have been made to the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin to consider extending the £16bn line to Reading Station.

Tony Page, from Reading Council, said his town station's £250m redevelopment meant there was already provision for Crossrail and there would be cost savings by not installing 'unneeded infrastructure at Maidenhead.'

The Department for Transport said the plans were under constant review and the redevelopment of Reading Station was designed to keep this option open.

However, Cllr Geoff Hill (Con, Oldfield) responded saying there is no reason why the planned Crossrail terminus should move to Reading.

"I'd like it to be in Maidenhead, unquestionably so," said Cllr Hill in response.

"That's the plan and that's how I think it should be executed.

"I can't see any reason why it should go on to Reading."

Cllr Richard Kellaway (Con, Bisham & Cookham) said that there were also logistical benefits to the terminus being in Maidenhead because many people lived within walking distance or could drive and park at the station.

However, Bob Dulson, speaking in his role as chairman of the Maidenhead Civic Society, said that Reading was better suited to being the terminus because of its ongoing multi-million pound improvement project.

A Department for Transport spokesman, said: "While Crossrail services are currently planned to terminate at Maidenhead we do keep these plans under constant review and have safeguarded the route from Maidenhead to Reading to allow for possible extension in the future."

The Crossrail line, from Maidenhead in the west to Shenfield in the east, will enable commuters to travel from Maidenhead to Heathrow in 28 minutes and Tottenham Court Road in 42 minutes.

Services are set to start on the route by 2018.

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