New access scheme launched to get more anglers fishing on the River Thames in Reading

Joint press release from Reading Borough Council and the Angling Trust

Martin Salter (Angling Trust) and Alan Clark (Thames Valley Angling Centre) join Reading’s Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer services Sarah Hacker on the Thames Promenade to launch the new angling access permit.

WITH nearly three miles of river bank under the control of the local Council in Reading the town has one of the largest sections of free fishing available on the middle reaches of the River Thames.

However, various parking restrictions have made it difficult for anglers to access the river in recent years but it is hoped that a new Thames Angling Parking Scheme will see anglers returning to the Thames when the new fishing season starts on June 16th.

The access scheme, which was developed in conjunction with the former councillor and Reading West MP Martin Salter in his new role of Head of Campaigns for the Angling Trust – the national body for recreational fishing – will allow holders of an Environment Agency rod licence to apply for a restricted number of Thames Angling Parking Permits. These permits, currently priced £5 but half price for Your Reading Passport Holders, will enable anglers displaying the special window sticker to park in a number of designated spots at Rivermead, Hills Meadow and Kings Meadow in order to access the river for fishing purposes only.

The permits go on sale on Monday from Thames Valley Angling at 258 Kentwood Hill, Tilehurst, Reading.

Reading’s new Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer services Sarah Hacker welcomed the scheme saying:

“We are so lucky to have this fantastic section of the River Thames running right through the heart of our town and I’m really pleased that the Council and the Angling Trust have worked together to get more people fishing on the river. Parking and access are always difficult issues to resolve, particularly for something like angling which is not a short session activity. I’m looking forward to see more smiling faces and bent rods on the banks of the Thames in Reading.”

Angling Trust Campaigns Chief Martin Salter added:

“Right across the country Councils have introduced systems to deter long term parking near parks and leisure centres for perfectly understandable reasons. I know from my own time as a public representative in the town the problems caused by people using these sites as unofficial park and ride spaces when looking to commute. However, the public stretches of the River Thames in Reading – from Scours Lane in the West to Kennetmouth in the East – is the best open air leisure centre anyone could wish for and our new scheme will hopefully see more local anglers back on the river.”

Alan Clark, owner of Thames Valley Angling in Tilehurst said:

 “We have an angling goldmine right on our doorstep here in Reading. Last season those sections of the river where anglers could access absolutely fished their socks off. Competitions were regularly won with good nets of roach and when the bigger bream went on the feed catches of 60lbs plus were recorded. It’s great that the Angling Trust has been able to broker these new arrangements with the Council and I’m hoping that it will result in more youngsters taking up fishing now that their parents can take them somewhere where they can fish for free.”

The Angling Trust is hoping to use the Reading scheme as a model for other Councils to follow.

ENDSAngling Trust

Contact:

Martin Salter – 07976946033

Cllr Sarah Hacker – 07957 491672

Alan Clark – Thames Valley Angling Centre – 01189 428249

Notes:

The Thames Angling Parking Permits go on sale from Monday June 19th   and cover three sections of the river in Reading:

  1. Scours Lane to Caversham Bridge (inc Thames Prom) – parking at Rivermead
  2. Christchurch and Hills Meadows – parking on gravel area of Hills Meadow (12 cars max)
  3. Kings Meadow to Kennetmouth – parking via key holder at Kings Meadow Park (12 cars max)