A plan to create a shared bus and cycle lane on part of London Road is ‘effectively on hold’ until the council finds out if it will get more funding.

The cycle lane, which would be 1.3km from Cemetery Junction towards the town centre, would be created by removing one lane of private vehicle traffic.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) received £221,240 in the first round of Department for Transport  (DfT) funding for nine temporary schemes aimed at helping with social distancing, including the London Road plan.

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Four of these schemes have now been completed, with road space re-allocated for cycle lanes on:

  • Reading Bridge
  • Southampton Street, Silver Street and Mount Pleasant
  • Sidmouth Street
  • Whitley Street

Another of the schemes – on Oxford Road – is half complete, with the Tilehurst section finished and work to complete the Norcot to town centre phase now underway.

While another scheme – a one-way system on Gosbrook Road and Westfield Road – was completed and then scrapped just one week later, after causing traffic chaos.

A further two schemes are nearing completion: cycle markings on Redlands Road, Christchurch Road.

But the plan on London Road is now on hold until the council finds out how much funding it will get from the second round of funding.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Environment, Planning and Transport at RBC, says the scheme needs to be looked at as part of a package together with further plans for London Road from Cemetery Junction to the borough boundary.

This would also link up Wokingham Borough Council’s proposed shared bus and cycle route on London Road up to the Shepherds House roundabout.

In the second round of DfT funding, the council has bid for £4 million worth of schemes but had only been allocated indicative funding of £1.18 million.

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Cllr Page said the London Road scheme will only progress if the council gets more than the indicative amount.

The council’s report ahead of next week’s Traffic Management Sub-Committee states the ‘deliverability is being evaluated’ in regards to part one of the London Road scheme.

Cllr Page has clarified the latest situation, saying: “There won’t be much work done on London Road until we hear from the DfT about tranche two. Effectively it is on hold.”

A review of each temporary phase one scheme will take place in early 2021 which.