Government funding to remove the national rail bottleneck at Reading Station would reduce delays and make train journeys quicker for 30 million passengers a year, the South East England Regional Transport Board said today.
If Government doesn't include these improvements in its next rail investment programme, passengers will have to endure delays for many more years, board chairman Nick Skellett has warned.The Reading Station Partnership, including the South East England Regional Assembly, local councils and Network Rail, has outlined how train journeys via Reading to London, the South West, Wales, West Midlands and Scotland could be improved within three years at a cost of £80M.Shortage of platforms at Reading is a major cause of delay, with trains regularly queuing outside the station. Skellett said: 'Government can no longer ignore Reading Station. We must move forward and need its commitment to invest in removing the bottleneck at the station, so we can deliver the work and improve journey times significantly. This is an opportunity for Government to invest in a cost effective scheme that is affordable and will deliver a step change in performance which benefits the whole country.'The Board is also seeking support from the South West, West Midlands and Wales.