A blueprint to revamp Maidenhead Train Station must ensure the site is a cohesive transport hub that provides easy pedestrian access, according to town stakeholders.
Members of the Maidenhead Civic Society and Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce have given their views to the Royal Borough's vision of how the station could be transformed to pave the way for the arrival of the £14.8bn Crossrail service in 2019.
The council wants to make the station a 'transport interchange', convert the front into a pedestrian-only area and provide the extra parking spaces through a new multi-storey building or by extending the Stafferton Way car park.
Chamber president Sally Radford said the creation of extra parking spaces would be welcome ahead of a likely increase in commuters.
"People will come to Maidenhead because the links from the M4 are far more convenient than at Reading," said Peter Sands of the chamber's town planning group.
Mr Sands also called for high-level walkways to any new car park and the town centre to ease the number pedestrians crossing the A308 Braywick Road.
"There is only so much interruption of traffic you can give," he said.
Groups agreed the plans to link bus and rail services were also vital.
Martin McNamee of the Civic Society’s planning group said it was the most important part of the station's redevelopment.
Cllr MJ Saunders, borough cabinet member for planning and property said, it was having ‘extremely positive’ discussions about a walkway from station platforms to Stafferton Way.
That area could also be used as an interchange for all private and taxis.
Designs have also been prepared for an interchange by the 3 building that would allow free-flowing pedestrian and vehicular traffic – similar to Oxford Circus in London.
A dedicated bus interchange in the vicinity of the station was also high on its wish list.
The borough is waiting to hear if it has secured £6.8m of Government funding which would pay for the station project.
The Crossrail service will run from Reading, under central London and through to Shenfield and Abbey Wood.
Readers gave their views about the potential future of the station on social media and the Advertiser website.
Some exchanged views about a possible water feature in a pedestrian area in front of the station.
“Surely not good at a train station?” said Sally Ann Buckland
“Why not provide better access for relatives and friends to pick up drop off people catching trains?”
Alex Powis said: “Love the fountain idea but I think Kidwells Park would be a better location.”
NikkiA said: “Perhaps the idea to have it in front of the station so that commuters can cool off after an overcrowded train journey where they've had to stand for the duration due to a lack of seating.”
Others reacted to ideas for more parking spaces in Stafferton way.
“That'll never work will it! The SELFISH COMMUTERS will still pile onto the already crowded local roads,” said Cpl Punishment.
Top Ten Articles
CCTV images have been released of men police would like to speak to in connection with a homophobic attack on a couple as they took a train home from a Valentine's Day meal.