Reading station - why was nothing done to the 1989 bit?

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Bletchleyite

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From the M&S Food thread.

Reading station has had a fortune spent on it, and the "new bit" is impressive and modern, definitely up to European standards and perhaps reminiscent of the likes of Bern Hbf. However, the 1970s bit remains untouched, run down, leaky-roofed and all-in-all an embarrassment.

When so much has been spent, why is this the case? It'd be a bit like leaving the manky 70s bit on the front of Kings Cross having built the lovely new bit.
 
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yorksrob

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I preferred the platform buildings and canopies of the old station anyway.

Like a Great Western country junction on steroids.
 

Paul Kelly

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At least the toilets in the Brunel arcade have been refurbished and are quite pleasant now.
 

David Goddard

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Thinking back to the original proposals, and I went to a number of presentations on it, I don't recall the 1989 area ever being in scope for works, nor were there questions about why.
 

DelW

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It's not really part of the station, more an adjacent shopping and eating area. From the town centre, for platforms other than 4, 5, and 6, it's quicker and more direct to use the western gateline and bypass the old concourse entirely.
 

JonathanH

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It's not really part of the station, more an adjacent shopping and eating area. From the town centre, for platforms other than 4, 5, and 6, it's quicker and more direct to use the western gateline and bypass the old concourse entirely.
That is true. However, it is also where the main ticket counters and customer help desk is, not that I see the concourse with the same disdain as the original poster.
 

Non Multi

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I quite like the Railair exit in the arcade. It's the best way to avoid the ad spewing jumbotron in the southern piazza.
 

coppercapped

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I quite like the Railair exit in the arcade. It's the best way to avoid the ad spewing jumbotron in the southern piazza.
Yes!! I'd like to <do unmentionable things> to whoever approved the siting of that monster. Having just built a new station entrance with a large and quite impressive glass fronted overbridge that advertising monstrosity has been placed in the middle of the piazza so that it blocks the view of the new part of the station from everyone coming from the town centre along Station Road.

Vandals.

And I really can't see what the OP has against the 1989 station building. It has recently had work done on the roof which I hope has fixed the drips but generally it is light, has a nice high ceiling and is (partially) protected from the winds and weather — the new parts of the station sometimes feel as if one is walking through a wind tunnel and in rainy weather the floor of the overbridge is permanently wet.
The 1989 structure would be improved if
  • the M&S carbunkle was removed so returning the circulating space to its original, less cramped, condition
  • the entrance doors to the piazza were improved. In a couple of openings the doors and frames were removed during the rebuilding in order to get, IIRC, some of the new platform roof girders into the site. The work was not properly made good so now there is a mish-mash of entrance doors
  • a tidying up exercise could be carried out on shop fascias, the little kiosks which have popped up wherever a spare corner could be found, signposting, and possibly repositioning of the help desk and displays
  • it was a bit more weather-proof. For example the installation of a glass wall/wind barrier in the area of the gateline would add some protection to the whole internal area and make it feel a bit more 'inside' rather than 'outside'.
Anyone got a couple of million lying around? ;)
 

swt_passenger

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I always thought they should have at least moved the ticket office into a more central location, the present site is away from the main passenger routes.
 

JonathanH

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I always thought they should have at least moved the ticket office into a more central location, the present site is away from the main passenger routes.
I suspect the reason they didn't is that there isn't really anywhere else to put it without detracting from the 'old building' - they built a new ticket office on the north side.
 

JonathanH

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Where was it before the 1980s add on?
Yes, there was a cramped ticket office in the old building prior to the 1989 add on and a travel centre but I guess they didn't want the cost of putting the ticket office back there and evicting the pub.
 

davetheguard

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the M&S carbunkle was removed so returning the circulating space to its original, less cramped, condition

You're certainly right there! I think someone mentioned in a seperate thread that the M&S shop has now closed, no doubt they'll try to let it to someone else; but ideally they'd remove it and improve the feeling of space and restore the clear walking routes between the ticket office/entrance and the toilets/Heathrow bus exit.
 
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Starmill

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You're certainly right there! I think someone mentioned in a seperate thread that the M&S shop has now closed, no doubt they're try to let it to someone else; but ideally they'd remove it and improve the feeling of space and restore the clear walking routes between the ticket office/entrance and the toilets/Heathrow bus exit.
I must say that circulating space was improved significantly by the removal of two rather ugly retail units at Leeds by the main doors.
 

yorksrob

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I must say that circulating space was improved significantly by the removal of two rather ugly retail units at Leeds by the main doors.

I must admit, I do miss the Burger King - but to be fair, never had much use for Claire's Accessories or whatever it was :lol:
 

fgwrich

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You're certainly right there! I think someone mentioned in a seperate thread that the M&S shop has now closed, no doubt they're try to let it to someone else; but ideally they'd remove it and improve the feeling of space and restore the clear walking routes between the ticket office/entrance and the toilets/Heathrow bus exit.

Unfortunately, the issue is that you'll still have the access stairs down to the underground bunker / car park in the way, the M&S only really blocking the circulating space between the toilets, Apex Plaza Stairs and RailAir. That said, with M&S being closed and the toilets improved, I can imagine that shoplifting rates have probably decreased in the station now.

In an ideal world, the 1980s part of the station would be demolished and rebuilt with a far better layout & roof. I think anyone who has ever worked in that part of the station would be pleased to see it go, be it GWR BTP or NR.
 
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