LOCALS are being invited to have their say on proposals for new walking and cycling routes across the town.

Initial consultations on Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Active Travel options were launched yesterday (February 24).

Public feedback will be key in helping to shape which of the four schemes will be progressed.

Based on this initial engagement, more detailed proposals will then be brought forward later in the year, ahead of further statutory consultations.

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Initial proposals have been developed in the context of uncertainty regarding changes to traffic flows and unknown future travel demand post Covid 19.

Over the past year, the pandemic has changed people’s travel options, with more flexible working arrangements now the norm.

Changes in travel behaviour and attitudes towards cycling, walking and public transport may reduce commuter car use in the longer term.

Last November, RBC successfully secured £1.179m from the Department for Transport for further investment in sustainable travel options for Reading, as part of ‘Tranche 2’ of the national Active Travel Fund.

The investment aims to improve cycling, walking and public transport in the local area, including safe, dedicated cycle lanes, new crossings and wider footways.

The latest funding would allow for some of the key ‘missing link’ cycle lanes in the town to be created, which would be fully segregated from traffic through the reallocation of road space from general traffic to people who walk and cycle.

Stock image

Stock image

The following proposed schemes make up the initial consultations:

  • Bath Road / Castle Hill (Southcote Lane – Inner Distribution Road / Castle Street)

A predominantly segregated cycle facility in each direction, which includes a segregated cycle facility across the IDR junction, created by removing sections of the highway currently dedicated to general traffic.

This scheme would be complemented by improvements to junctions and crossing facilities along the route.

  • London Road (borough boundary to London Street)

A package of predominantly segregated cycle facilities in each direction, and shared bus and cycle lane, providing access to key destinations including the Royal Berkshire Hospital, achieved by removing one inbound traffic lane.

This will be complemented by improvements to junctions and crossing facilities, including at Cemetery Junction.

  • Shinfield Road (Christchurch Green – Shinfield Rise)

A segregated cycle facility in each direction, providing access to key destinations, including the University of Reading.

This will be complemented by improvements to junctions and crossing facilities, including at the Christchurch Green and Shinfield Rise local centres.

  • Southampton Street (Pell Street / Crown Street – Bridge Street / Fobney Street)

There are two alternative options on this key route into the town centre; either a two-way segregated cycle facility, or a shared bus and cycle facility.

Both would be achieved through the removal of one inbound traffic lane.

Either scheme will be complemented by segregated cycle facilities on Crown Street and through the Oracle roundabout, along with improvements to junctions and crossing facilities.



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Tony Page, RBC's lead councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: "These initial proposals underline the council’s full commitment to tackling the poor air quality which we know exists in parts of Reading, alongside our wider Climate Emergency Strategy.

"The funding award of £1.179m from the DfT back in November 2020 was a vote of confidence in the Council to successfully deliver permanent new Active Travel schemes in Reading.

"Many local authorities received considerably less than they had expected, so it was very welcome.

"Much work has been done since then on the next steps for Active Travel in Reading. It is important to note that the proposals launched today are still concept designs, subject to more detailed analysis. We acknowledge that not all of these four schemes can be delivered through the latest Active Travel budget envelope, but the results from this initial consultation will help to determine which scheme(s) progress to the next stage of development."

People can view details on all four proposals and take part in a short survey, with the opportunity to leave comments, at www.reading.gov.uk/activetravelengagement. The two month consultation period ends at 23:59 on Friday 23rd April 2021.