For all too many years I have been trying to persuade people to build a new railway station for Wokingham, and to sort out the traffic chaos at the station roundabout and level crossing. The Council has been supportive. Many constituents have agreed. First Railtrack, then Network Rail damned my proposals with faint praise. They never ruled them out, but they never got round to finalising plans themselves. As the main landowner and the station owner, that was something of an impediment to progress.
I have held various informal and formal meetings with Ministers and Shadow Ministers over the years, with the Council and with the rail industry to try to find a way through. I sketched plans which were self financing in the good days for property development and private finance. Still there were delays and obstacles.
I was therefore delighted this week to hear from the Network Rail management that they are going to let contracts to build a new station this month. They aim to complete the works by March 2013. The plans look good, and the new station will represent a huge improvement on what we have today. I am now concentrating my attention on the road links and railway crossings, as we need to sort them out as well.