A royal opening
by James Renoux-Wood Fri 1 August 2014, 10:22 am
Queen Elizabeth II has formally opened Reading’s new £900 million station.
The project includes five new platforms, a passenger footbridge and two new station entrances linked to a new bus terminal.
Existing platforms have been lengthened to cater for longer trains, rail bridges have been widened to reduce congestion and new canopies, waiting rooms and retail outlets have been developed.
The project began in 2010 and the Reading Station Improvement Project is due to open by summer 2015, which will see non-stop trains running between Reading and London Paddington in less than half an hour.
More investment in the area has come about as a result of the station redevelopment, with over 185,806sq m of office space either completed or currently being developed within 500 metres of the station.
Business occupiers will be able to make use of the regular train services to central London, and the fact that occupational costs are 60% higher in west London than Reading.
Sue Brackley, economic development manager for Reading UK CIC, the economic development company for Reading, said: “The area around Reading Station is being transformed as investors respond to the demand for high-quality offices in Reading linked to excellent rail infrastructure and connections to London and international markets.
“With the planned capacity for the new station set to double in future years and electrification of the Great Western mainline as well as the impending arrival of Crossrail and rail links to Heathrow, Reading is perfectly placed to consolidate its role as the key regional business hub.”