A FRESH application for a major transport scheme will be submitted later this year after concerns were raised by the neighbouring authority.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) voted in favour of the £20m Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) for East Reading in May, despite serious concerns from campaigners.

The joint application went to Wokingham Borough Council less than a month later and was rejected due to the significant environmental damage that would be caused.

As part of the old application, more than 700 trees would have been removed to make way for the dedicated bus, pedestrian and cycle route between Thames Valley Business Park and the town centre.

Councillor Tony Page, RBC's lead member for strategic environment, planning and transport, said the revised application would take the concerns of the campaigners and Wokingham councillors into account.

He added: “Wokingham’s decision last month does not change the fact that this is a joint public transport scheme which has the potential to offer major benefits to people who regularly commute between Wokingham and Reading.

“With many thousands of new homes planned, we simply cannot ignore the huge impact it will have on a limited road network which is already at capacity due to the huge demands on it.

“Council officers are now working on a new planning application which will take into account comments at Wokingham’s planning committee.

"This will see further amendments to the original scheme after it was updated earlier this year to include a net increase in biodiversity, a net increase in flood storage capacity and the greater retention of trees."

Members of Save Our Ancient Riverside held a demonstration outside Reading's Civic Offices and continued to voice their concerns during the meeting in May.

Reading councillors claimed the development would help reduce congestion and cut down the alarming levels of pollution in East Reading.

Green councillors were also unconvinced by RBC's application, with one member of the planning committee arguing that the council was ignoring its own planning policies.

Substantial funding was unlocked for the project from Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.