John Redwood has today responded to the Department of Transportation’s consultation on the safeguarding of the Maidenhead to Reading route for the potential future expansion of Crossrail. The consultation does not provide a commitment to extend Crossrail to Reading, but seeks views on whether formal Safeguarding Protections should be issued on the stretch of land that would be used to expand Crossrail from Maidenhead to Reading in the future.
As part of his response to the consultation, John Redwood highlighted the unprecedented population growth which is projected to take place in the South East over the next few years, and pointed out that Wokingham and the area around Reading has borne the brunt of development pressures. Allied to these pressures is the fact that this growing number of people must carry out their business on a transport system that is increasingly unable to meet the needs of a modern economy. John Redwood has told the Department of Transport that the expansion of Crossrail to Reading would help in easing these pressures on commuters, businesses and families.
Speaking about the consultation, John Redwood said: “The sad reality is that my constituents face considerable problems with insufficient capacity, very high fares and an unrealisable service. My constituents often tell me stories of very overcrowded journeys. Other services in the Reading area do not offer enough choice of journey times to be attractive for commuters, forcing people onto the roads when they might be attracted back to the railways by more frequent services”.
“It would be reassuring to know that Reading is being seriously considered for the more regular and faster services to London that would come about through a direct link to Crossrail. The population pressures on Wokingham and the South East demand a transport system that is able to move people about quickly and allows them to carry out their business. The expansion of Crossrail to Reading would be a huge contribution towards meeting that demand. It is for that reason that I support the objectives set out in this consultation”.