Ministers urged to extend Crossrail to Reading
by Jim Dunton Fri 24 May 2013, 5:09 pm
Reading Borough Council has called on the government to make the town the western terminus of the £14.8 billion trans-capital Crossrail route.
It said that extending the under-construction route west from its planned terminus of Maidenhead would reduce infrastructure costs and make better use of increased capacity at Reading’s redeveloped station.
Borough transport lead Councillor Tony Page has written to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin arguing that there is a compelling case for the move, which would also underscore Reading's status as a major employment centre.
“Whilst peak London commuter capacity is a key driver of the service, the proposed ‘post Crossrail to Maidenhead’ service of just two trains per hour between Reading, Twyford and Maidenhead is not considered adequate,” he said.
“There would be cost savings by not installing unneeded infrastructure at Maidenhead, and passive provision for Crossrail has already been included in the current remodelling of Reading Station.”
Councillor Page also reiterated the authority’s support for transferring Heathrow Express services to Crossrail to provide additional capacity on the existing line between London and the outer Thames Valley.
Due to open in 2018, Crossrail is currently designed to link 37 stations from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
Trains will pass through 21 kilometres of new twin-bore tunnels under central London and are projected to boost the capital’s rail capacity by 10 per cent.