Essential improvements transforming Maidenhead Station’s forecourt into a modern transport hub has been completed, with the new gateway to the town centre officially opened today (11 October) by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.
Enhancements to the area and facilities have made the forecourt more user-friendly, more accessible and ensures the town is prepared for increased demand as a result of upgrades to the rail network with the opening of the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail).
Councillor Gerry Clark, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “I’m delighted to see this project come to fruition. It improves the interchange between trains and other forms of transport and creates better walking and cycling links between the station and the town centre for residents and visitors.
“It has created wider, more direct footways to the town centre, provided a better bus stop and tripled the number of cycle storage spaces to over 300. All of this reduces the need to travel by car.
“It has made this area safer, more accessible and user-friendly by prioritising pedestrians and those using sustainable modes of transport.
“This links to our Active Travel objectives and our work to make walking and cycling improvements in the borough, reflected in the inclusion of secure cycle storage with hundreds of spaces. Active Travel, and reducing reliance on motor vehicles for short journeys, is also an important part of achieving our Environment and Climate Strategy.
“Work is ongoing to regenerate Maidenhead town centre and the council is fully committed to investing in the town’s future with improvements such as this to ensure its infrastructure supports the current and future needs of the town and its residents.”
The improvements include:
• Secure cycle storage with 312 stands. There is a CCTV camera covering the area to deter theft and it includes two electric bike charging points.
• A more accessible bus layby on the A308. The new stop is visible from the entrance to the ticket hall and is closer. It includes a double shelter and a real-time display that details all the services stopping and when they will arrive.
• Six disabled parking spaces, as well as motorcycle spaces.
• A drop-off and pick-up point for commuters. Private vehicles can still drive into the forecourt and vehicles can pick-up and set down in the forecourt giving people alighting direct access to the pedestrian area.
• A new paved piazza.
• Landscaping, including wider pedestrian walkways, improved lighting to ensure areas where people will walk are well lit, seating and trees.
Maidenhead MP Theresa May said: “I was pleased to be able to attend the official re-opening of Maidenhead Station’s new forecourt. Maidenhead Station is at the heart of our local community and the new forecourt has many improvements, notably better walking and cycling links between the station and the town centre.
“As we all strive to reduce our carbon footprint, a key part of this effort will be to encourage more people to use public transport, like rail, which makes improvements such as this all the more welcome.
“These enhancements coincide with the regeneration of Maidenhead town centre and as the MP for Maidenhead I remain committed to supporting projects which enhance our local infrastructure and improve the town which is a benefit to all my constituents.”
The taxi rank has been reinstated at its original location, meaning passengers can be picked up in the forecourt.
Long-stay parking has been transferred to the Stafferton Way multi-storey car park nearby.
The council secured £3.75m of Growth Deal funding from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership for the project.
Its chair Bob Beveridge said: “We are delighted that we have been able to support the regeneration of Maidenhead Station as part of our wider £11.2m investment towards the transformation of Maidenhead. The project has helped to level-up the gateway to the town, making it more attractive and accessible to residents and visitors alike.”
GWR Station Manager for Maidenhead, Alison Hanscomb, said: “It’s exciting to have been able to complete this project, a long-held ambition of ours to better support our customers and the wider Maidenhead area in a more accessible and sustainable way.
“Maidenhead station is a key gateway and this work with our partners will help secure the economic prosperity of the region as we seek to build back better from the pandemic.”
The work was carried out by the council’s highways contractor VolkerHighways, with VGC Group undertaking earthworks and paving on its behalf.
Consultation took place with Network Rail and GWR to understand the companies’ requirements around the forecourt.