Next Phase of Key Cycle Route Set For Approval

WORK on the second phase of a key new cycle route which will cross Reading and Berkshire is set to be approved at a meeting of the Council’s Policy Committee next week (September 25), as work on the first phase continues to take shape.

Known as Route 422 on the National Cycle Network, when complete it will run from its start point of Newbury in the west and on to Ascot in the east via Reading where an important east-west cycle route is being built, linking to existing cycle routes.

Phase 1 began in January along the Bath Road. A combination of shared cycle and pedestrian facilities are being built by the Council on the northern side of the Bath Road, running between the borough boundary and along the Bath Road to Southcote Road, with advanced stop lines at signalised junctions. There will be no loss of capacity for general traffic when the cycle facilities are complete.

At a meeting of the Council’s Policy Committee next Monday (Sep 25th), Councillors are set to approve work on Phase 2. This is a mixture of on and off-carriageway cycle facilities linking Bath Road to east Reading, via the town centre, including improved crossing facilities on London Street and junction improvements.

Existing cycle lanes on Berkeley Avenue will be widened and complemented by an off-carriageway shared use cycle path catering for less confident and inexperienced cyclists, including for those travelling to nearby secondary schools. The route will then continue along Berkeley Avenue to Temple Place where it will join local cycle route R1 and NCN 4 at Lower Brook Street, before travelling along Forbury Street and Bridge Street. At this point, cyclists will have the option of continuing along the existing NCN4 route through the Oracle or riding along Mill Lane to London Street. From here the route travels along the River Kennet to Watlington Street and London Road where the Phase 2 route ends.

Route 422 It is being funded externally through a successful joint local authority funding bid to the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), through its Local Growth Deal, and through local contributions from each of the Councils involved. The external money is ring-fenced, which means it cannot be used to pay for any other Council services.

Tony Page
Cllr Tony Page

Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“The Council’s work to build this important new cycle route for Reading is progressing well and will continue through the Autumn. In the meantime planning is well advanced for Phase 2, which will link Bath Road to east Reading via the Town Centre, and using existing cycle lanes as well as new ones.

“This project is being led and largely delivered by an in-house Council team to save on costs. It is also yet another example of the Council identifying and successfully bidding for external funding to deliver continued investment in the highways, public transport and cycling infrastructure that Reading needs as it continues to thrive and grow.”

The full Policy Committee Report can be found at http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/7696/item12/pdf/item12.pdf . If approved, work is expected to begin on Phase 2 in October.

The Council will complete Phase 1 of the work through the Autumn, which will include traffic signal upgrades at Liebenrood Road and Southcote Road and kerb realignment works at New Lane Hill.

The detailed designs for the Phase 3 route, which will run between London Road and the borough boundary, will be developed over the autumn and take into consideration wider transport improvements.

Notes To Editors:

Route 422 is a joint project between Reading Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council, West Berkshire Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council

Wokingham Borough Council is due to deliver its elements of the overall scheme in 2016/17 and 2017/18, followed by West Berkshire and Bracknell Forest in 2017/18 and 2018/19. The full cross Berkshire Route 422 is expected to be complete in spring 2019.

More detail on the Route 422 cycle route plans, and other major transport schemes, can be found at: http://www.reading.gov.uk/transport-schemes-and-projects

Oscar Mortali

For media enquiries about this release email oscar.mortali@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 2301