01:30PM, Monday 11 October 2021
Theresa May was in attendance to witness the official re-opening of Maidenhead railway station’s new forecourt on Monday morning.
Cllr Gerry Clark, lead member for transport, declared the forecourt open at just after 10.30am, a project which has been hit by delays due to COVID-19.
He was joined by the MP for Maidenhead alongside representatives from Great Western Railways, VolkerHighways, Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Project Centre who were all involved in the creation of the forecourt.
The forecourt features more pedestrian space compared to its predecessor, with long-stay car parking transferred to Stafferton Way although there is six disabled parking spaces as well as motorcycle bays.
The taxi rank has been reinstated, designed in such a way that cabs can queue behind one another. Private vehicles will also be permitted to use the drop-off and pick-up point to give commuters direct access to the pedestrian area.
A new cycle storage area has been installed with a CCTV camera covering the area. The new storage provides spaces for 312 bicycles with two electric bike charging points.
On the A308, a ‘more accessible’ sheltered bus stop has been installed, featuring real-time information about the bus services that will use the stop.
The council secured £3.75m of Growth Deal funding from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership for the project.
Maidenhead railway station earlier this year, shortly after work began.
After the event, Mrs May said she was ‘pleased to attend the official re-opening’ of the station’s new forecourt.
She added: “Maidenhead Station is at the heart of our local community and the new forecourt has many improvements, notably better walking and cycling links between the station and the town centre.
“As we all strive to reduce our carbon footprint, a key part of this effort will be to encourage more people to use public transport, like rail, which makes improvements such as this all the more welcome.
“These enhancements coincide with the regeneration of Maidenhead town centre and as the MP for Maidenhead I remain committed to supporting projects which enhance our local infrastructure and improve the town which is a benefit to all my constituents.”
Speaking to the Advertiser, Cllr Clark (Con, Bisham and Cookham) said: “It’s now a station forecourt which is fit for today and fit for tomorrow – it’s a logical extension to our sustainable transport initiatives.
“By opening up the forecourt, we’ve now got a gateway into the town across the improved crossings and following what is now a much more logical route and a more attractive route into what is becoming a very, very a nice place to be, both in visual amenities and in facilities.
“It’s taken a while to be delivered, I think there’s been some clear difficulties in certain aspects, but the contractors have really worked hard to resolve [issues] as quickly as possible.
“I hope it [the new forecourt] says that Maidenhead is thriving, and Maidenhead is modern – I don’t think there’s anything nicer than going somewhere when it looks attractive, clean and new.”
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