Crowsnest Home

Welcome to Stalag Reading 4A

I decided to create this page in response to a newspaper article that suggested Reading could feature in the Railtrack station of the year competition.

My opinion is that Reading station, which was not particularly well designed to start with, has been made much worse recently. Most of the entrances to the platforms have been blocked off and the general atmosphere is now one more fitting to a prisoner of war camp that a facility which the public is being encouraged to use.

The main pedestrian access to the North East.

Unfortunately, it is also the vehicle exit from the ground floor of the multi-storey car park.

The designers clearly didn't expect people to use this route as slabs were only laid across the shrubbery behind the blind corner on the left after a path had been established.

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The former main route from the car park to the subway.

From the car park it used to be possible to get to the platforms via these stairs and a subway. First they built these bicycle racks across the route and then put security locks on the access to the subway - for staff only.

The former access main access to the station from the North West.

This route was fenced off when the 'Executive Parking Area' was created. Note the reinforcement along the top of the fence because people, finding themselves trapped, climb over the fence.
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The Executive Parking Area

It's strange how most of the executives seem to drive white vans with RACAL painted on the sides.

Short term public parking at this side of the station, next to a main road, has been steadily reduced. Disabled (very rarely used by badge holders) and car hire spaces (never used, IME) have also been marked off. fGW claim to have provided extra short term spaces under the main station building but getting to them involves taking your car inside the Inner Ring Road into the 20 mile per hour Town Centre area.

The new main entrance from the North East

. A narrow, muddy squeeze between the bike shed and the Executive fence.
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The Car Park Stairs

Having reached the station from the North East or North West, you now have to ascend to level 9 for the footbridge to the platforms. The choice is between the lifts (rather slow, unreliable and dirty) or these stairs. Note the traditional graffiti and pool of urine.

The main pedestrian access from the South East.

This entrance is also shared by the delivery vans for the most important functions of the station, selling pizzas, burgers, newspapers, underwear, make-up, sandwiches....
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Welcome to Platform 4A

What do they think people will do to dodge a fare?

The friendly new fences

At least they provide a blank canvas for the local graffiti artists.
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You're always given a warm welcome at Reading Station.