Reading West Station will get a £3.1m boost after government funding for a controversial scheme was withdrawn.

Funding was reallocated from the East Reading Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) scheme to seven other projects after it became clear that the segregated bus, cycle and pedestrian route could not meet the funding deadline of spring 2021.

The Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) funding is expected to deliver a new station building, changes to the Oxford Road and improvements to platform facilities and the Tilehurst Road entrance.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Transport, said: “Reading Borough Council (RBC) and Great Western Railway (GWR) remain committed to the proposed project at Reading West Railway Station and are confident that the key timescales of bring on site by March 2021 can be met.

“The project will address safety and security concerns, enhance multi-modal interchange and improve the passenger experience through a new station building, highway changes and improvements to platform facilities and the Tilehurst Road entrance.

“To expedite delivery of the scheme, it has been agreed that the council will lead on the highway elements and GWR will lead on all station related works.”

Councillors and campaigners have been calling for disabled access at the station. Currently, the station is inaccessible to people in wheelchairs and very difficult for mothers with pushchairs.

Network Rail has, however, stated that the station cannot be made fully accessible until the platforms are widened at a cost of around £13M and so this has been made a future phase of the project.

The central government funding has been split between seven prioritised schemes, including Theale Station in West Berkshire.

All schemes must start on site by March 2021 to receive the money.

The reallocation of funds was approved by the Berkshire Local Transport Body (BLTB), a formal joint committee of the six Berkshire local authorities established by the LEP to prioritise funding for devolved major transport schemes.

Network Rail have already begun phase one of works at the station, investing £940,000 into installation of a new stepped footbridge between platforms and new access from Oxford Road to the Basingstoke-bound platform.

A timetable produced by the BLTB in July 2018 suggested construction of phase two would start in Autumn 2019 and be complete in spring 2020.

However, these milestones are expected to change, with the council set to meet with GWR to agree a new programme.

RBC is contributing £200,000 in S106 funding to the scheme, subject to internal approval.