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Crossrail Maidenhead terminus under fire from Reading MP

Reading East MP Rob Wilson is calling on transport secretary Geoff Hoon to rethink London's £16bn Crossrail scheme to make Reading its western terminus.

Wilson has long campaigned for Crossrail to terminate at Reading, and gained the support of then London mayor Ken Livingstone in July.

At a meeting of the Crossrail Group attended by three MPs, Wilson suggested that Maidenhead was an unpopular and inadequate terminus when compared with Reading's massive advantages as a UK rail hub and economic centre.

Livingstone replied that he supported Reading as the Western terminus and thought that Crossrail would eventually end there, but said the key thing was to start the project and make sure that escalating costs didn't deter the Treasury off from funding it.

At the time Wilson said: "I am delighted that the Mayor of London supports Reading as the Western terminus. It was extremely important that he was made aware directly of the debate taking place between the two possible finishing points, Maidenhead or Reading. However, I believe he is wrong to say that getting the project starter is the most important objective. If we start it and Maidenhead has all the infrastructure put in and expense spent on it, Reading will diminish as a likely end point. For this reason I intend to take a delegation to meet with him and his officials and press Reading's case further."

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