What Bracknell Thinks: Should Bracknell be included in Crossrail?By Hugh Fort
May 10, 2012
Members of Bracknell Forest Council have vowed to fight for the borough to be included in the high-speed Crossrail project.
Terminals for the route, which will take commuters into the centre of London in just half an hour, include Maidenhead.
It is thought the project could boost the UK economy by around £42 billion.
We asked our panel whether Bracknell should be included and what they thought of the town’s current rail network, which takes about an hour to get to London.
Nigel Rennie from Binfield: “What a curious council we have. Is the plan to divert a branch line from Reading via Bracknell to Maidenhead, or perhaps we could re-employ the suspended bus service to take passengers from Bracknell to Maidenhead to catch the train?
“The train service we have is adequate albeit heavily overcrowded at rush hour. The idea of having a direct link to Heathrow would be wonderful, but there is the minor problem of no rail line.
“It would be more real world to improve our existing station that gives the appearance of a temporary afterthought from the 1960s.
“Any high speed train would blow away the loose-laid slabs that remind the traveller of crazy paving gone wrong.
“Bracknell has the potential of being a nice rural town. It was an attractive market town in the not too distant past, which was transformed in the 1960s into a new town, now it is more akin to a ghost town.
“I doubt it will ever become the vast metropolis that this council has set its sights on”
Jo Illot from Crowthorne: “Bracknell should be included because with the amount of business in and coming to the area it will be a great benefit to business personnel travelling to London for meetings etcetera.
“I think this could bring in more businesses to fill the enormous amount of empty office space in the town – with a greater commute option and hopefully the redevelopment, I think it would help no end.
“I think the current train link is shockingly slow... over an hour and it gets extremely crowded at rush hour times.
Jonathan Greenyer, an artist and author from Winkfield: “High speed links to Bracknell will significantly help business and if they do something good in Bracknell town centre after demolishing it, it will boost trade, there too. Make train ticket prices fair and simple too.
"Why is it that if trains run anyway whether they are full or empty; a ticket can be 10 times more expensive bought on the day of travel, yet there are many seats still available?”
Mark Robson of the Insight Group in Bracknell: “Bracknell Council should have been involved in this before.
“Maidenhead have involvement and within the year they will see a reduced Maidenhead to London time with a knock- on investment in housing by commuters that want to spend less time travelling, which in turn will revitalise the town centre as retailers look to capitalise on the new wealth coming to the area.
"The current rail link from Bracknell to London is embarrassing because of its tediousness – 60 minutes to travel to London?”