05:10PM, Thursday 07 November 2019
All change, all change - train timetable shake-up
The biggest timetable change on the railway network since 1976 topped the agenda at a meeting of the Thames Valley First business group this week.
Great Western Railway managing director Mark Hopwood addressed about 30 guests on Monday to raise awareness of the new timetable which will be introduced on December 15.
The change will see about half of GWR’s stopping services between Reading and London Paddington transferred to Transport for London Rail as part of its staged plans to introduce the Elizabeth Line.
GWR will continue to operate services between Reading and London Paddington calling at intermediate station stops.
Up to two fast services an hour will run through to London Paddington with passengers set to benefit from an increase to three trains an hour on the Reading to Newbury route.
The company said the trains will dovetail with TfL’s stopping services to provide ‘significant extra capacity’ on the Reading to Paddington corridor.
New Intercity Express Trains already in operation between Reading and the capital will also see journey time improvements, with average direct journey times expected to take 22 minutes as opposed to between 25 and 30 minutes today.
Mr Hopwood told the group: “We have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare to implement the biggest timetable change to this network since 1976, enabling us to take advantage of the full benefits that Intercity Express trains are bringing.”
A new contactless pay-as-you-go service will also be available to passengers on TfL Rail’s stopping services from Thursday, January 2, Mr Hopwood added.
Thames Valley First was formed more than 30 years ago to promote the region as a powerhouse of the UK economy.
Monday’s meeting took place in Reading.
Inheritance protection solicitor joins Gardner Leader
Award-winning law firm Gardner Leader has continued its expansion with the appointment of a new member of staff.
Laura Sentkovsky has taken up the role of inheritance protection solicitor at the Frascati-Way based company.
The firm’s latest recruit qualified in 2017 and joins a 23-strong team which is spread across Gardner Leader’s three offices in Maidenhead, Newbury and Thatcham.
The company said she will bring specialist skills in all private client matters including drafting wills, trusts and lasting powers of attorney.
Laura said: “It’s great to be part of such a fast growing, forward thinking and vibrant team.
“One of the first things I noticed was Gardner Leader’s committed and caring approach to clients and how staff are so passionate about what they do.”
Jo Barton, head of the inheritance protection team at Gardner Leader, added: “Laura was an obvious fit for the firm as she not only brings with her an extensive range of skills in inheritance law, but her personable and emphatic approach appeals to our clients during that can be one of the most difficult periods of their lives.”
Remembrance Day free travel for Armed Forces
Armed Forces personnel can travel for free on South Western Railway services on Remembrance Day.
Serving troops, veterans and cadets can take advantage of the offer on Sunday in order to get to commemorative events across the region.
Personnel need to be in uniform or able to show an ID card with their branch of the military stated. Members of the cadet forces in uniform and veterans who display valid ID, such as the Ministry of Defence issued Veteran’s Badge, can also travel for free.
Peter Williams, commercial director for South Western Railway, said: “We wanted to honour the armed forces community with this offer of free travel as many of our colleagues come from a service background.“We are grateful for the sacrifice that so many men and women have given over the years so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.”
Visit www.southwestern railway.com for details.
Creams voted Best Dessert Parlour
A dessert cafe picked up a prize at LUX Life Magazine’s 2019 Global Hospitality Awards.
Creams Slough, in Windsor Road, was named Best Dessert Parlour in Berkshire in recognition of its flamboyant desserts.
It was also presented with the Excellence in American Cuisine award for its array of American waffles and thick milkshakes.
Balal Aqil, founder of Creams Cafe, said: “I’m thrilled the team have been recognised for their tremendous efforts and would like to thank all our customers for their support.
“We continually strive to serve up the tastiest treats for Berkshire’s sweet-toothed locals, so to be acknowledged for our contribution to the industry is a real achievement.”
The shop is open from 11am to 11pm.
Care home to host free Parkinson's awareness event
A free Parkinson’s awareness event is taking place at a Windsor care home.
Care UK’s Mountbatten Grange, in Helston Lane, has organised the session to educate families about the support available for families affected by the condition.
Guidance and practical tips will be given for improving the everyday lives of those living with Parkinson’s.
Information on support groups and specialist services in the area will also be available.
Debbie Winwood, home manager at Mountbatten Grange, said: “According to Parkinson’s UK, two people in the UK are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease every hour.
“Most diagnosed are over the age of 50, and one in every 500 will develop the condition in later life.
“Across Care UK, we care for a number of residents living with Parkinson’s, and we have seen first-hand how the experiences of individuals and their families can be transformed by having access to the right information and support.”
The event is taking place on Thursday, November 14 and will run from 2 - 4pm. See www.careuk.com/ mountbattengrange
Voluntary Sector Awards upcoming
The Slough Voluntary Sector Awards will be held next week.
The annual event recognises the extraordinary contribution of the many volunteers and community groups in the town.
This year’s ceremony is taking place at the Heathrow/ Windsor Marriott Hotel, in Ditton Road, on Friday, November 15.
Awards up for grabs include Volunteer of the Year, Group of the Year and Business Support of the Year.
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