Campaigners who successfully opposed a controversial segregated bus, cycle and walking route along the Thames riverside are now looking for ideas to revamp the pathway.

Save Our Ancient Riverside (SOAR) campaigned against the East Reading Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) scheme, which was rejected by Wokingham Borough Council twice last year.

The proposal was then withdrawn by Reading Borough Council (RBC) in January 2019.

Campaigners are now focusing on how Reading’s ‘wildlife corridor’ along the Kennet Canal and Thames riverside can be improved.

The group is inviting the local community to join them at Kennet Mouth, by the Horseshoe Bridge, this Saturday, May 11, between 2 and 5pm.

SOAR campaigner John Mullaney said: “We’re looking for ideas from the public that focus on improving the area in ways including biodiversity, amenity and recreation, arts and culture, education and cycling and walking.

“We’re also looking for ideas that address the problems that beset the area.

“After spending well over three years trying – and ultimately succeeding – to stop something from happening, SOAR is really excited to be entering this new positive phase of our campaign.

“By again working with the community, we’re aiming to enhance this much-loved stretch of riverside and hopefully leave a legacy that can be enjoyed by many generations to come.”

Following Saturday’s idea-gathering event, SOAR will host a public meeting in autumn, presenting ideas and analysis of their feasibility.

The campaign group then hope to shortlist a set of practical proposals that have community support, to be presented to landowners for approval.

Landowners of the riverside land between Wokingham and Reading include RBC, Wokingham Borough Council, Network Rail, the University of Reading and Tesco.

The group would then look to raise funding through a number of channels.

SOAR have also held discussions with Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport at RBC, who spearheaded the East Reading MRT scheme.

The deputy leader suggested using the plans the council had developed to mitigate the environmental impact of the MRT, such as softening the riverbank and installing moorings.

These were already backed by the Environment Agency as part of the MRT scheme.

Mr Sharpe said: “I agreed that it seemed a viable suggestion and certainly one we will add to the list.

“I’ve invited him and all the other councillors in Reading and Wokingham whose wards the area crosses.

“Councillor Karen Rowland and some of the Wokingham councillors have certainly expressed an intention to come.

“It is such a relief to be doing something positive at last after having spent so much time campaigning against the MRT.”

He added: “I’m expecting that whilst there will be some quick wins some of the larger infrastructure components will take up to three years to complete."