Issue - meetings

Thames Valley Berkshire Capital Programme Update

Meeting: 14/07/2022 - Berkshire Local Transport Body (Item 6)

6 Thames Valley Berkshire Local Growth Deal 2015/16 to 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 1 MB


A report was received that set out the progress of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Growth Deal schemes and those funded by the Business Rates Retention Pilots (BRRP) of 2018/19 and 2019/20 and the transport element of the Getting Building Fund released in September 2020.


It was noted that all funding was fully allocated.  Fourteen projects were still onsite.  On a risk basis, BLTB reviewed each of the red/amber rated schemes in turn to monitor progress.  A summary of the updates was as follows:


·  2.01 Newbury:  King’s Road Link Road – work had stopped until planning issues were resolved and it was noted that negotiations were still ongoing with the developer.


·  2.06 Reading Green Park Railway Station – work was nearing completion prior to handing over to the rail industry with the station expected to open late in 2022.


·  2.24 Newbury: Railway Station – the issues with the station building had been resolved and the project was progressing well in line with the revised programme.


·  2.27 Maidenhead Town Centre: Missing Links – the final stage of bridge installation was due on site shortly.


·  2.29 Wokingham: Winnersh Triangle Park & Ride – there had been an issue with water main which was now resolved and work was progressing.


·  2.31 Slough:  Stoke Road Area Regeneration – one element of the scheme on the former Thames Valley University site had been outstanding but completion was expected by December 2022.


·  2.32 Maidenhead: Housing Sites Enabling Work Phase 1 – Five of the six roundabouts had been completed, however, there had been a delay to the Braywick roundabout which had been redesigned.  Work was continuing with the Council to resolve the issues.


·  2.35 Reading: Reading West Station Upgrade – the issues had been resolved and the scheme would shortly move to Amber Green status.


·  2.38 Theale Station Upgrade – the water main issue had been resolved and the footbridge was due to be installed at Christmas with full completion expected in July 2023.


·  2.40 Windsor: Town Centre Package – further work was required to re-tender the scheme in light of increased costs.


·  GBF1 Slough: Langley High Street Phase 3 – a re-designed layout had caused delay but it was expected to be complete by the end of 2022 or early 2023.


BLTB discussed the position regarding scheme 2.34 Slough: MRT Phase 2 as set out in paragraphs 16 to 19 of the report.  The approved scheme had consisted of two elements – a new mass rapid transit (MRT) and park & ride facility.  The MRT was being delivered, however, Slough Borough Council had approached the LEP seeking to re-focus the park & ride element due to anticipated changing demand for the facility arising from changes to planned land use in Slough town centre since the business case had been approved.  The Council had proposed repurposing the park & ride site as a low carbon refuelling hub, incorporating electric vehicle charging points.  It may also be possible to develop one of the UK’s first public hydrogen refuelling facilities capitalising on energy produced by a nearby energy from waste facility.


Work was taking place to consider the revised proposal and assess what it would deliver and the most appropriate funding mechanism.  It was proposed that a report on any revised proposal come back to BLTB in November 2022.


BLTB noted the update and discussed various aspects of the emerging proposal.  It was commented that whilst the demand patterns may have changed in Slough town centre, improving public transport links to Heathrow remained a key sub-regional priority and was one of the benefits of the original scheme.  Queries were raised about the rationale for the potential significant changes to the approved scheme and BLTB therefore requested that:


·  The November report would need to demonstrate the evidence for the move away from park & ride and show that the original business case was no longer viable.


·  The report should also set out any impacts on the overall business case for the approved MRT scheme so that BLTB could assess the value for money implications.


At the conclusion of the discussion it was agreed that a full report would be provided to the next meeting in November, alongside a revised business case if that was considered appropriate.


Resolved –


(a)  That the progress be noted on the schemes previously given programme entry status as set out in the report.


(b)  That the proposed changes to scheme 2.34 Slough MRT Phase 2 be noted and that BLTB receive a full report in November 2022.