Another day, another press release comes out telling us Green Park Station is coming soon.
A look back at press announcements about Green Park Station over recent years shows many projections as to when it will open.
Even allowing for the damage done by lockdowns, announcements of the opening of Green Park Station over the past 18 months alone make it seem more like a mirage, constantly moving further away just as you think it’s within reach.
In August 2021, we were told delays meant it would now open sometime in 2022. In July this year, we were told that would be the end of 2022.
Last week the Reading Chronicle told us it will open in early 2023.
In the latest release from Reading Borough Council we are told it will be Spring 2023. We decided against publishing it.
Since the station was first announced in the late 1990s, perhaps we should be used to this by now but you might think certain interested parties would be asking questions as to what is going on.
Planning permission was first granted in 2001 and after alterations and revisions including an entirely fresh planning application, funding came in.
Berkshire LEP approved £9.15 million from the Local Growth Fund in 2014. Developer contributions of £5.6m followed, then came £2.3m from the DfT in 2017, then £2.477m from the Government’s New Stations Fund in 2019, then £550,000 more from the Local Growth Fund, along with £1.25m from GWR and £2.015m from Network Rail in March.
The trouble is most of the funding is from people who are spending other people’s money – in most cases ours.
This drawn out process is beginning to resemble the midterm elections in Arizona.
In both cases the public should be entitled to a definite end date. Or maybe, since the demise of the newspaper industry, the concept of a deadline has been lost.
Adding to council coffers in Reading from next year will be fines from motorists who stop on yellow box junctions.
No matter how much the council talks of improvements to air quality, there is little hiding the real reason for it – a projected £250,000 to the authority.
At some junctions, going into the yellow box before the last vehicle has left it, is a fairly easy mistake to make. The traffic appears to be moving so you try to do your bit by maintaining the same speed but then someone stops and you risk your back wheels stopping inside the box.
Far from keeping traffic moving, it’s more likely to make everyone slow down because they will now have to ensure they have a guaranteed exit from the junction before they go into it.
The junction on the A33 outside Reading Link Retail Park (the Matalan junction to locals), will surely prove a goldmine.
And once the ‘success’ of this scheme is proven, more fines for various motoring offences are on the way.
Strange when you compare these penalties to the soft-touch policing reserved for people who block entire motorways.
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