04:34AM, Wednesday 24 July 2013
Maidenhead MP Theresa May has given her backing to plans for an ambitious rail link from Windsor.
The Home Secretary has welcomed the Windsor Link Railway, which would eventually link the town directly with London and Heathrow.
She said: "Good train services from Maidenhead and Twyford to London are crucial, both for commuters who live in the local area and for local businesses.
"That is why I welcome proposals from the Windsor Link Railway company, which could potentially provide much quicker journey times to south London and Waterloo.
"These have the additional advantage of being privately-led, reducing the burden on taxpayers as well as offering a new procurement model for infrastructure."
If it is built, it would link the lines running into Windsor's two stations by tunnel, creating a route between Slough and South London.
Mrs May added: "This could potentially lead to billions of pounds of savings across the national network, offer more competition and break out of the cycle of ever-increasing passenger fares – making things easier for hard-working families."
Windsor MP Adam Afriyie has also previously backed the railway as he said he wants better rail services for residents of Windsor, Ascot and Bracknell.
The plan is led by Royal Borough councillor George Bathurst (Con, Castle Without) who is working on it privately as a businessman and has been in discussion with Network Rail about it.
Cllr Bathurst says the rail operator has completed a detailed study and said it is 'positive, possible and feasible', giving him the go-ahead to raise private investment.
He said several well known companies have expressed interest in becoming involved and the cost would be £100-150million.
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Hundreds of students across East Berkshire and South Bucks are collecting their A-level results today.
Our reporting team are speaking to students in Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead throughout the morning with the latest reaction, stories, photos and pass rates from schools across the area.