Wokingham station work on track for next summerBy Jon Nurse
November 15, 2012
Rail bosses say the town will be able to take pride in the £6 million train station when it opens next summer.
Work starts two weeks today on Wokingham station which will include a new footbridge to the platforms and an access road with a public transport interchange.
More than 40 people saw plans at an exhibition at Wokingham Town Hall on Wednesday.
Julie Worman, communications officer for contractor Spencer Group, said: “People recognise they need a new station and 99.9 per cent have been really positive about it.
“There have been concerns from Alderman Willey Close over noise levels but their fears have been allayed by the team.
“We are working very hard to inform interested people in the community and if we need to come back and hold a similar event again in six months we will.”
Preparatory works start on November 28 before substantive works begin in January.
Michael Bunker, 69, of Alderman Willey Close, said: “I think Wokingham needed a station years ago – it’s disgusting at the moment.
“The design is nothing like the old Victorian one they pulled down years ago but it serves a purpose.
“We overlook the back of the station car park and there’s always work going on there at night.
“My main concern is how much work will be going on at night and how disruptive it’s going to be. They say there will only be a small proportion of night work. I’m sceptical.”
The station promises passengers shops, improved waiting areas and new information screens.
Ian Moorhouse, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “It has the potential to bring more people to Wokingham and it will certainly encourage more people to travel by rail.
“By summer next year we will have a facility Wokingham can be proud of.
“A lot of thought has gone into the design and we want to use materials that compliment the existing buildings rather than going against them. There’s also going to be a lot of trees and greenery.”
Wokingham MP John Redwood said: “I’m encouraged by what I’m hearing but there have been so many false starts I’ll believe it when I see the bulldozers moving in.
“I look forward to a new station and it looks a lot better than what’s there now.”
Piermario Bonomi, 31, of Bracknell, who was at the exhibition, said: “It looks modern and I don’t know how much it will fit with Wokingham and its historic heritage but much better than what’s there today. With the link road added I think it’s a good overall project.”
He was particularly pleased to see the footbridge will include a lift.
“My parents come to this station from Gatwick when they arrive from Italy,” he said. “The current bridge is very slippy and has no elevator for their heavy luggage so it’s always been a pain for them to cross platforms.”