A crossing to improve safety for students and pupils for a school in Reading is on its way soon after a ‘six-year’ campaign from parents.

Parents and guardians have been pushing for a pedestrian crossing for years in Upper Redlands Road so pupils can cross the road safely.

The zebra crossing is set to be installed next to its junction with Eastern Avenue to allow safer journeys to and from St Joseph’s College.

Students of the University of Reading also regularly cross Upper Redlands Road to go between the Whiteknights Campus and their private accommodation.

The decision to move ahead with the project was made at the council’s traffic management sub-committee meeting on Wednesday, September 13.

Celebrating the change, councillor Kathryn McCann (Green, Redlands) said: “I’d like to commend the council for going forward with this after quite some time.

“I’d just like to thank the community for supporting it for such a long time, I think the parents of children at the school have been pushing for this for about six years, so good on them for sticking with it and thanks to those people that contributed to actually help fund it as well as the officers for getting the funding that they have to make it happen, so good news!”

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In a vote, members of the traffic management sub-committee unanimously decided to implement the project.

It will now be the subject of a statutory consultation, with highways officers reporting the results of that consultation to the sub-committee either in November or January 2024.

The council hopes to install the crossing and make the associated road changes by the end of March next year.

Associated changes include removing existing speed cushions, relocating a bus stop to move it closer to St Joseph’s College and moving a 20mph speed marking.

Reading Chronicle: The council design for a pedestrian crossing and associated works in Upper Redlands Road near its junction with Alexandra Road in Reading. Credit: Reading Borough CouncilThe council design for a pedestrian crossing and associated works in Upper Redlands Road near its junction with Alexandra Road in Reading. Credit: Reading Borough Council

Earlier in the meeting, the approval of the project was welcomed by cllr Will Cross (Labour, Redlands), who thanked cllr Tony Page (Labour, Abbey), the former lead councillor for transport for his work in pressing for the project.

The zebra crossing will cost £83,500, of which £75,000 will come from the government’s Active Travel Fund Tranche 4, with £8,500 coming from private pledges, including from St Joseph’s College and the University of Reading.

But cllr Cross lamented that other schemes around the town that the council bid for were not funded.

He said: “[This] highlights the success of the previous Labour lead councillor for bidding for this and the Labour council for its ambitious strategy on active travel, cycling and walking.

“It’s obviously disappointing that the somewhat opaque and capricious central government funding process did not provide funding for the additional schemes that we bid for, in which case it would have been even better, but it’s a testament to the Labour council’s bold agenda that this scheme is coming forward in partnership with the school.”

The schemes the council did not get funding for were changes to the junction of Sidmouth Street and Queens Road and pedestrian and cycle improvements for the Christchurch Green junction.