Another step to making the Madejski Stadium easier to get to has been reached today, with Reading Borough Council confirming planning application has been submitted for a station building at the proposed Green Park Railway Station.
All being well, this should allow the station to open in the summer of 2020 (in time for Reading’s triumphant return to the Premier League in the 2020/21 season).
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“The official submission of the planning application for a station building at Green Park is another significant landmark in this Council-led project which will deliver major benefits to residents living in the south of Reading, businesses at Green Park and supporters of Reading FC.
“The new station will be an integral part of Reading’s sustainable transport infrastructure with more homes, businesses and leisure developments planned in the south of the borough. It will also be another option for football fans heading to Madejski on match days, again taking the pressure off our busy roads.”
It had previously been reported that the station could open as early as this summer, with the Green Park Station scheme originally having been approved in 2014 by the Berkshire Local Transport body. All funding for the project had been secured by September 2017 - £9.15m coming from Thames Valley Berkshire LEP’s Local Growth Fund, £5.6m from area development contributions and £2.3m from the Department for Transport.
However that suggestion has certainly proven to be a little optimistic, and expectations have now returned to the original date of next year. The new plans also see the location of the station move slightly south and the two platforms extended to 150 metres. It will be served by a half hourly service north to Reading and south to Basingstoke.
The full council press release claims that:
“When complete, Green Park Station will help to alleviate queues on the busy A33 by offering an alternative sustainable mode of travel and will significantly improve accessibility to the south Reading area which has large-scale development proposed, including the expansion of Green Park Business Park, Green Park Village residential development and the Royal Elm Park mixed-use development.”
Of course the mention of Royal Elm Park is what catches the eye there, with Reading fans keen to know what the latest is on that front. The project, which will include over 600 new homes, a convention centre and an ice rink, was approved in April 2017 but progress is currently slow. It appears work is happening on the planning and admin side of things, but it could be a while until construction begins.