Reading’s traffic and pollution could benefit from more than 100 new car parking spaces at Winnersh Triangle Railway Station.

Plans were approved last night for 104 additional parking spaces at the Winnersh Triangle park and ride, with hopes it will reduce traffic going into Reading via Wokingham Road.

Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC) Planning committee unanimously approved the plans, which will increase the amount of parking spaces from 387 to 491.

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Councillor Carl Doran, a Labour Party member of the comittee, said: “Unlike other park and ride sites or developments of this size, there appear to be no objections, but I can see why.

“It’s in a location that is already hidden, and it will make a massive contribution to reducing congestion and car commissions. I would like a few more trees but it’s not so bad.”

A single level of decking will be added above the existing surface-level car park.

Park and rides are a system for reducing urban traffic congestion, in which drivers leave their cars in car parks on the outskirts of a city and travel to the city centre via public transport.

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The Winnersh Triangle park and ride is designed to help reduce private motor traffic going into Reading.

Another park and ride built by WBC, at Thames Valley Business Park, was completed in May but plans for a shuttle bus from the car park to the business park have been delayed.

This park and ride was also supposed to be part of a new route into Reading – the controversial East Reading Mass Rapid Transport – but this RBC plan was rejected by WBC twice.

New and expanded park and rides are also in Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) draft transport plans for the next 15 years.

There are currently three park and ride sites for getting into central Reading by bus:

  • Madejski Stadium (RG2 0FL, near J11 of M4)
  • Winnersh Triangle (RG41 5RD, near J10 of M4)
  • Mereoak (RG7 1PB, near J11 of M4)

The park and ride costs less than parking in central Reading for anything other than very short stays, and bus lanes make it a quicker journey than travelling by car.

RBC also want to introduce road charging schemes to reduce private car traffic, which could include:

  • Clean Air Zone
  • Workplace Parking Levy
  • Emissions-based parking fees
  • Road User Charging (also known as a congestion charge)