Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps he has taken to improve transport connections between Windsor and Reading.
Robert Goodwill (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Transport): On 27 March, the Government and Transport for London announced that Crossrail services will be extended to serve Reading from 2019. Once Crossrail services begin across the whole line in 2019, passengers travelling to London from Windsor, Reading and other Thames Valley stations will be able to travel to more destinations across London without the need to change at Paddington. Construction of Crossrail is now more than half completed and electrification of the Great Western Main Line is also under way. Electrification of the Slough to Windsor route is approved and will improve local connectivity.
The transformation of Reading station was completed on time and under budget as part of the £850 million Reading Station Area Redevelopment programme and formally opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 17 July.
The Government continues to progress the M4 Junction 3–12 smart motorway project, the next step for which is formal public consultation in the autumn. The Highways Agency is also taking forward a £2.5 million pinch point scheme to increase capacity at the M4/A329 (M) junction.
On 7 July the Government agreed the £96.9 million Growth Deal with the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. This includes £94.6 million to support local transport improvements across the whole of Berkshire, including in and between Windsor and Reading.