A TRAIN station will receive a multi-million pound upgrade with works due to begin this year.

Theale Railway Station is set to be improved with plans including upgrading and opening new toilets.

There will also be improved accessibility across the station, with a footbridge and lifts to connect platforms on both sides of the tracks funded by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Access for All (AfA) programme.

Plus step-free access to the new station building and both platforms which will allow the station to be fully accessible to all rail users for the first time.

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The existing ticket office will also be replaced with the building located closer to the new footbridge and designed to meet modern accessibility standards in full.

The car park will also be expanded to include a new entrance, improved drop-off and turning facility from Brunel Road for taxis and rail replacement buses, electric vehicle charging points, improved facilities for cyclists, motorcycle parking, plus provision of a new car park deck which will increase parking capacity.

Network Rail engineers will start work this summer preceding GWR who will commence their work in November. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2022.

In addition to Access for All this project has been made possible through a £4 million grant from Local Growth Deal funding via the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

This money was secured recently by West Berkshire Council and GWR which will be put to use soon when improvements to the cycle and pedestrian routes to the station start as the first phase of the wider scheme.

Councillor Richard Somner, Executive Member for Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said: “We are delighted this project will provide much needed improvement for staff and passengers at Theale Railway station.

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“There will be disruption during this time but it will be kept to a minimum with access maintained to the platforms during the works.

“Work is scheduled to commence in mid-March 2021, starting with the road works, pedestrian and cycle routes to the station.

"This is the first phase of the Theale Station upgrade project. Work on the station site itself will be happening later on this year.

“The Council, GWR and Network Rail will work together to deliver these significant and wide-ranging improvements for Theale station.

“By improving our train stations and the facilities they offer, we hope to encourage residents and commuters to choose more sustainable ways to travel to help reduce our carbon footprint.”