Station footbridge replacement branded 'tacky'By Laura Herbert
August 28, 2012
Plans for a replacement footbridge at Wokingham railway station have been branded ‘tacky’ as fears have been raised about its appearance fitting in with the rest of Wokingham.
Network Rail, on behalf of South West Trains, has submitted plans to Wokingham Borough Council to demolish the existing footbridge linking the two platforms, and replace it with a new footbridge including two stairwells and lifts.
One woman, who lives in Oxford Road and objects to the scheme, commented online: “It’s hard to see well on the diagrams but the new design looks really unpleasing and modern.
“The current bridge might be in need of a little updating but it’s really unattractive.
“The new design looks tacky and more fitting for an inner city suburb than an historic market town.”
The footbridge is within the station linking the two platforms and not the Grade-II listed footbridge in Oxford Road which received the seal of approval from the Wokingham Society with a blue plaque in 2010 to mark places of historical significance.
Peter Must, chairman of the Wokingham Society, has also been looking into the plans but has some questions.
He said: “Is the design for the new footbridge the same as for Aldershot and Alton? If so (and even if not), there is no attempt to provide a design which is sympathetic to the surrounding neighbourhood or even to the appearance of the proposed new station buildings.
“The colouring of the cladding and support structures of the footbridge are brash and garish rather than appropriately subdued and are made worse in the drawings by the steel members being bright yellow rather than the ‘light grey colour ivory’ indicated in the text. Could a more sensitive choice of colours be offered?”
He continued: “As far as one can tell, access to the lifts from the platforms will entail the lift doors facing away from the station entrances, thus needing to effect a 180 degree turn to access them and a further 180 degree turn while in the lift itself in order to exit facing the bridge.
“The Wokingham Society whole-heartedly welcomes the intended lifts and believes that, if provided, they will be a tremendous boost to all users with mobility problems or who are encumbered with luggage. We hope the concerns we have raised can be addressed.”
To comment on the plans visit www.wokingham.gov.uk and search for planning application RAIL/2012/1648.