COUNCILLORS have expressed concern over controversial plans to build a transport link due to the potential damage to the environment.

Designs for a new fast-track public transport link for pedestrians and cyclists came under fire when they were put before Earley Town Council on May 15.

The bridge, which would be built between Thames Valley Business Park and Napier Road, is part of revised plans submitted to Wokingham Borough Council by the neighbouring authority in Reading.

A number of objections have been made by community groups, such as Reading Friends of the Earth (FoE), over the loss of wildlife.

A spokesman for the town council's planning committee said: "The design of the bridge is unsightly and little attention had been given to the area beneath the bridge.

"The western embankment near the Tesco store would impede the floodplain and it would be situated within a woodland area and would impact both ecology and the river.

"The viaduct on the Wokingham side was too close to the river, was not screened and would be too prominent."

A public consultation for the segregated fast-track public transport bridge closed on Wednesday, May 23.

The cycle network forms part of Reading Borough Council's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) scheme, but straddles between Reading and Wokingham, which means duplicate applications have to be submitted.

Submitted by Peter Brett Associates, it is hoped that the link will provide a 'sustainable alternative' to accommodate future travel demands and reduce congestion on London Road.

John Booth, treasurer of Reading FoE, slammed the wider MRT proposals due to concerns about air quality.

He added: "The scheme offers no significant improvements to air quality on the A4 corridor, so does not achieve its stated purpose in this respect. The benefits are negligible."