Tilehurst Station is set to be transformed and made accessible with more than £10 million of funding.

Network Rail is investing £4 million into constructing lifts at the station to make it step-free and accessible to all, and it is hoped this work will start in Spring 2022.

Additionally, £6.5 million government funding is being sought to increase car parking, improve safety and upgrade the station forecourt.

Making the station accessible

Tilehurst Station “lagging behind” other train stations, according to Great Western Railway (GWR) and there have been many campaigns over recent years to make it more accessible.

Currently wheelchair users need to use Reading Station, which is around four miles away.

Reading councillor Daya Pal Singh launched a petition in 2018, calling on Network Rail to install a lift for wheelchair users at the station, which received more than 800 signatures.

Reading West MP Alok Sharma has also supported the bid to improve access at Tilehurst Station.

And residents have called the situation ‘shocking’, describing their experiences attempting to use the station.

Alice Carter said back in 2018: “My daughter is a wheelchair user and she is getting older so we can’t carry her over the footbridge much longer.

“It’s shocking in this day and age that the railways are still so inaccessible.”

Car park, forecourt and cycling plans

Separately, GWR are seeking £6.5 million government funding to build a decked car park over the current car parking, increasing the amount of spaces from 118 to 217.

It also wants to upgrade the station forecourt include a new shared space for pedestrians and cyclists and a designated taxi and drop off area.

Additionally, the car park and forecourt would be separated to improve safety by creating a new access point for vehicles using the station car park.

And there are also plans for a new covered and secure cycle area for up to 100 bikes and improved retail options.

There is no funding currently for these plans, but Great Western Railway has submitted proposals which have been ranked 10th among 16 other planned schemes in Berkshire.

The plan is supported by Reading Borough Council (RBC), who also have their own scheme among the 16, the second-ranked South Reading Mass Rapid Transit (stage five and six).

READ MORE: Plans for £12 million segregated bus lanes in south Reading and walking and cycling bridge over River Kennet

GWR hopes to get funding next Summer through the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the current aim is complete the works in Spring 2024.