Better facilities at Wokingham station?

I have received a follow up letter today from First Rail, who start the new South West train franchise in August. I held a meeting with them last month to discuss improvements for travellers using Wokingham Station.

They say they do wish to introduce a click and collect facility at the Station for people to pick up goods they have bought on line on their way home. This is subject to reaching commercial agreement on how to do it.

They also say they want to introduce automatic number plate recognition for car parking at the Station.  This would enable travellers  to register their Debit card for automatic payment. They will also allow on line purchasing of car park season tickets. The aim is to make it quicker and easier to park with these additional choices.

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13 Comments

  1. Prigger
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Wokingham seems to have a good MP. Can’t find the typical brand of beer served in its pubs on the internet. So publicans there are a bit behind the times or serve bad beer and are hiding it. So shall not relocate.

    • John Probert
      Posted May 2, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Bad beer thats terrible Mr Redwood will have to take up this serious
      matter in the House !!!

  2. A different Simon
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Maybe First Rail could have a word with the councils on priorities .

    The councils priority now seems to be to revamp the area surrounding the town hall to make it more continental and cosmopolitan in what they boast is a multi-million pound project .

    I’m afraid that rather sticks in the craw when seriously ill people have to wait three weeks to get an appointment to see their GP .

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 2, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      A D S

      I see the Council are now proposing a new swimming pool to replace the Carnival pool which was only refurbished a couple of years ago at huge expense, and the re-vamped changing rooms were just finished just 2 weeks ago.

      Does no one in the Council look or plan ahead ?

      I wonder if these people would make the same decisions if it was their money they were spending !

      • A different Simon
        Posted May 3, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Maybe building of health centres is subject to more scrutiny to ensure propriety ?

  3. Iain Gill
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Re “They also say they want to introduce automatic number plate recognition for car parking at the Station. This would enable travellers to register their Debit card for automatic payment” good luck with that. I have tried repeatedly to register for a similar service for the Dartford crossing, however their systems refuse to believe I exist, and there seems no way to complain.

  4. David L
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Had the misfortune to have to wait hour and a half for a Reading train at Bristol Temple Meads on Saturday night on a journey home from Plymouth. The only place available to sit in reasonable comfort out of the cold wind was the toilet! The railway system is a fragmented disgrace…whether nationalised or private it needs to be one organisation. GWR wriggle out of compensating me…the signal failure and the poor stations are “nothing to do with us, sir.”

  5. Martyn G
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Good to hear that consideration is being given to improving the lot of the traveling public. Why not also consider ‘touch and go’ card machines for those not registered – ensuring, of course, that those without a registered card or touch and go versions can get in to park in the old-fashioned way, to pay with cash.
    The M6 toll booths cope with cards on insertion without need to enter a PIN, so that might also be a consideration?
    I wish you well in the GE and trust that you will be returned once again, reading so much as we do about Members across the spectrum of politics and without wishing to appear obsequious, I really do wish you well – England could well do with many more grounded MP such as you……

  6. alan jutson
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Click and collect sounds like a reasonable idea, but are they going to increase the number of short waiting car spaces to accommodate the extra traffic which only needs to stop for 10 mins or so.

    If you have to pay to park, then the idea may not be as successful as they suggest.

    • Know-dice
      Posted May 3, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Too true, councils seem to forget that passengers need to get to and from stations (and airports) and taking a bus or taxi is not always an option.

      Make it quick, easy and cheap then people will use it…

  7. Freeborn John
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Wokingham is not my regular station (Bracknell is) but I changed there last summer on the way to Farnborough Air Show and was impressed by the modern station. South West Trains customer service is 1000 times better Great Western who are at still imbued with the British Rail ethos of the 1970s. SWT have made a lot of station improvements along the line including new pedestrian bridges at Virginia Water and Ascot recently. I was surprised they lost the franchise given the strides they have taken. The biggest problem by far though remains over-crowding at rush hour but the station improvements are laudable. Another problem is replacement bus services at weekends including ones that will * obviously * be busy such as when Farnborough is on.

    Reply The new franchise will increase train seat capacity at peaks into and out of Waterloo

    • Freeborn John
      Posted May 9, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      By far the biggest improvement that could be made to this rail line would be a Heathrow train service operating from the South West directly into The airport without the need to change to a bus at Feltham. The branch line from Staines to Windsor already goes very close to Heathrow making an extension into Heathrow a seemingly straightforward enhancement. Such an improvement should have been made a condition of building T5 but should now an absolute pre-condition for the next stage in Heathrow’s expansion. A relatively small amount of new track and tunnel would allow direct rail services from Waterloo in one direction and from Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell, Ascot and Staines in other to the huge benefit of the local economy in east Berkshire. I do hope local MPs will insist on this a part of the new runway approval.

  8. John
    Posted May 6, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    How about a proper shelter on platform 2 not the pathetic structure installed when you ceremoniously reopened Wokingham Station with your brass plaque?

    Regarding click & collect, and parking payment these are cost neutral or commercially beneficial.

    First GWR still cannot get their website to correctly show which trains are available using off peak single from Reading to Paddington.

    Cross Country trains from Reading to Birmingham are 1/3 cheaper if you split tickets at Banbury, all trains stop at Banbury, and the trains are short and overcrowded due to a lack of rolling stock, not an infrastructure fault. Contract renewed by a Conservative administration?

    Why has it taken ten years to start reincorporating Waterloo International back in Waterloo Station?

    HS2, we can’t even afford to update/develop what we have got?

    This is why I gave up with the trains 2 years ago.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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