A revised East Reading Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) scheme has been submitted, after the original was rejected in May.

A decision from Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) is expected in early 2019 on the segregated bus, pedestrian and cycle route.

Reading Borough Council's (RBC) planning committee will then decide on the scheme, which now includes 'planters containing ivy, or a similar plant, to provide ‘greening’ of the structure'.

Campaigners have vociferously opposed the scheme and criticised the changes to the application.

Save Our Ancient Riverside (SOAR) campaigner Mr Sharpe said: “That is what we said they would do as a joke.”

The green camouflage of the structure matches with Wokingham Borough Council’s updated proposals for the new park and ride at Thames Valley Park, which will have a ‘living green wall’.

It is not clear what will happen if WBC rejects the scheme for a second time.

The scheme has been spearheaded by Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport.

The deputy leader said: “The revised East MRT application includes visual enhancements which further reduce the impact of the scheme on the riverside setting.

“The route will offer people travelling between Reading and Wokingham quicker bus journey times, more public transport capacity and a new segregated and lit cycle route.

“Reading will need to plan for thousands of new homes and jobs over the next 20 years, with tens of thousands of additional houses in the Wokingham, Bracknell and West Berkshire areas.

“Our transport strategy requires new park and ride sites to the north, west, south and east. Enhancing the public transport offer is fundamental to our strategy.

“Once completed the ERMRT could be used by new technologies such as driverless buses, light rail, pods, guided bus systems, or whatever new means of public transport become available and affordable. “

RBC’s own senior environmental officer said the impact on air quality would negligible but the council’s leadership maintain that it will have a positive impact.

Cllr Page said: “It will help to manage levels of congestion and air quality to mitigate the thousands of new homes which will be built in the area over the next few years. “

“Without this new link East Reading will face total gridlock and worsening pollution levels in the years to come.

“A new East Reading MRT link is a crucial part of Reading’s planning to accommodate future development growth through more sustainable means.

View the application: http://planning.reading.gov.uk/fastweb_PL/progress.asp?AltRef=181822&ApplicationNumber=181822&AddressPrefix=&Postcode=&Submit=Search