09:10AM, Thursday 31 August 2017
Maidenhead’s railway station is set to get a new look in time for Crossrail if a new scheme discussed by councillors on Tuesday is approved.
A draft concept presented at the Highways Overview and Scrutiny Panel includes a new public space in front of the ticket office, a cycle hub with 300 secure cycling spaces and better links from the town centre to the station.
In Station Approach the existing parking would be replaced by 20 set-down and pick-up bays, and there would be two lanes of taxi queuing space, giving room for 10 taxis to wait. There would also be disabled parking bays and two staff parking spaces for Network Rail. The parking will be ‘reprovided’ nearby as part of a wider strategy.
The report says a bus interchange would not be considered as part of the project due to constraints on the site and because landowners to the north declined to enter into a joint venture.
Cllr Hari Sharma, (Con, Furze Platt) bus champion at RBWM, told the meeting the council could consider an underground bus station.
However, executive director Russell O’Keefe said an underground bus station would be expensive.
The borough has provisionally secured £6.75m of growth deal funding from Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership which is subject to a business case being prepared.
The growth deal funding would require a borough contribution of at least 20 per cent and estimated costs of the scheme would be £8m.
Cllr Malcolm Beer (Ind, Old Windsor) said: “I’m very disappointed we’re not going to see a bus interchange.
“For years we’ve been talking about a multi-purpose interchange used for station so that people can hop on a bus and go home. It would be a way of dispersing commuter traffic as well as people coming into Maidenhead.
“It’s been the borough’s ambition for years and it just makes sense to link up all public service transport.”
Also proposed is a pedestrian and cycle bridge as an alternative to the current street level crossing.
Cllr Beer said: “The bridge to disperse pedestrian traffic is essential.”
The panel recommended the report for approval but said the council should still consider a bus interchange in the future if the opportunity arose.
The report will be discussed by the council cabinet later in September.
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