The much needed improvements to the Grade II listed station will include a major programme of investment consisting of three main elements:
station forecourt improvements delivered as part of the local infrastructure improvements – to be delivered by Slough Borough Council, as part of the £450m ‘Heart of Slough’ regeneration project
a new footbridge and lifts to provide step-free access to all platforms – delivered by Network Rail
improvements to the station building and waiting areas – delivered by First Great Western.
Work to upgrade the station forecourt will be carried out in five phases starting in early August and ending in January 2012. On completion, the forecourt will include a new taxi waiting/pick up area, a new passenger drop off section and newly paved entrance to the station with trees and forecourt furniture. The upgrade will provide a pedestrian friendly environment for all those coming in and out of Slough.
As part of the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme, Network Rail is installing three new lifts and a new footbridge, providing step-free access between the station entrances and all six platforms for the first time. The £2.5m project is scheduled to begin at the end of August and be complete in late May 2012.
First Great Western will be making significant improvements to the station with a new ticket office, new toilets, new customer information point, and new staff accommodation. Preparation works have already begun and the work is timed to run alongside the council’s forecourt work improvements.
Cllr James Swindlehurst, commissioner for neighbourhoods and renewal, said: “As part of the public realm improvements of the Heart of Slough scheme, Slough station forecourt will be redesigned to make it a more pleasant and safer space for customers to use. As one of the busiest stations on the Great Western Mainline, Slough station receives more than 5.5 million passengers a year, and any improvements to help passengers get to and from Slough are welcomed.
“The forecourt improvements being implemented by the council will use the same materials used throughout the Heart of Slough scheme to create a unified public space. With the recent opening of the new bus station, and work taking place on town centre roads, pedestrians will benefit from upgraded surfaces and improved pedestrian routes from the train and bus stations to the town centre.”
Mark Langman, Network Rail route director, said: “Thousands of people living and working in Slough rely on the railway every day. The improvements we’re making to the station will make life easier for everyone to use the train, especially those with reduced mobility or with small children, and is part of a wider effort to stimulate the local economy through better transport links. With Olympic and Paralympic athletes and spectators travelling to Eton Dorney in huge numbers next summer, it’s right that we make sure Slough station has the facilities it deserves.”
First Great Western managing director Mark Hopwood said: “Slough is one of the busiest stations on our network and with more and more customers choosing to take the train; this investment will make sure the facilities match the increasing demand for train travel.
“It is an exciting project and we are delighted that we are able to work together with the council and Network Rail to realise all the improvements at once.”
Train services will remain unchanged and station facilities will be open throughout the work.
The taxi rank outside the station entrance will also remain fully operational throughout the improvements.
There will be short periods when some spaces in the East, North and Upper West car parks will be unavailable for use. Space will be available in the West car park throughout. First Great Western will be writing directly to car park season ticket holders with full details including compensation arrangements.
Also in Europe today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
London.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.