Hundreds of people have written to the council opposing a temporary cycle lane near London Road and Royal Berkshire Hospital.

The two-way segregated cycle lane on Sidmouth Street was put in place last year as part of a series of temporary active travel schemes using government funding aimed at helping with social distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cycle lane closes one side of the road to motor traffic, meaning there is a temporary one-way restriction for motor vehicles.

READ MORE: All temporary cycling schemes now complete – what do you think of them?

Resident Aftab Quadri submitted the petition, signed by 248 people, to Reading Borough Council (RBC) ahead of its Traffic Management Sub-Committee meeting on Thursday (March 4).

The petition states: “We the undersigned request RBC to dismantle and remove the cycle lanes recently introduced in Sidmouth Street, Reading.

“The cycle lanes have been introduced without public consultation, are not needed, are unused, are unsuitable, are badly laid out and proving to be counter-productive especially in the creation of additional congestion.

“The cycle lanes are an accident waiting to happen. There is a negative impact on the response emergency services.’

The council has agreed to investigate the request to remove the cycle lanes but councillor Tony Page, RBC’s lead member for Environment, Planning and Transport, said a new proposal could address these concerns.

Discussing the petition at the meeting, Cllr Tony Page, RBC’s lead member for Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “On February 24, the day after this petition was received, the council formally launched its important consultation on the next phase of segregated cycle lanes and walking and pedestrian facilities in Reading.

“One of the schemes we are consulting on is the full length of London Road from the borough boundary right the way up to the junction with Crown Street.

“Another scheme resumes at Crown Street and goes down Southampton Street to The Oracle and a bit beyond.

“And therefore it delivers a missing link, not only east-west, but also importantly offers a connection with Sidmouth Street.

The potential London Road scheme that could link up with Sidmouth Street

The potential London Road scheme that could link up with Sidmouth Street

“And so opposition based on a very narrow focus on just Sidmouth Street should perhaps be focused on the wider benefits and the potential for other lanes to join up.

“That is the point I made to Mr Quadry and invited him to look at the consultations and respond accordingly.”

The council is consulting on four permanent active travel schemes until the end of April but says only one or two of the cycle-focused schemes can be taken forward with the current government funding available.

READ MORE: How you can vote on Reading Borough Council walking and cycling schemes

The schemes – on London Road, Southampton Street/The Oracle Roundabout, Shinfield Road and Bath Road/Castle Hill – all include segregated cycle lanes.

The council will consider which of the temporary active travel schemes, including Sidmouth Street, will become permanent once it has decided which of the new major schemes will go forward.