WORK on the final phase of a key new cycle route, which will eventually cross Reading and Berkshire, is set to commence from next month (April 2 2019).
Known as Route 422 on the National Cycle Network, when complete the new route will run from its start point of Newbury in the west and on to Ascot in the east via Reading and Wokingham, where improvements are being made to an important east-west cycle route linking to existing cycle routes.
The third and final stage of the project in Reading will see off-road cycle facilities created along the Wokingham Road, between Eastern Avenue and the borough boundary on Wilderness Road. This work is in addition to improvements to the existing on-road cycle route (local route R30). Together it means the east of Reading will benefit from a mixture of new and improved routes, catering for both experienced and less confident cyclists.
The route will link to Phase 2 of the Route 422 scheme, via existing off-carriageway cycle facilities at Cemetery Junction and along London Road. It will also connect to the Wokingham Borough section of the NCN 422 once complete, and to existing local cycle routes R20 and R3.
Members approved spending on the scheme at the Council’s Strategic Environment Planning and Transport Committee in November 2018. The report, which includes a location plan and the scheme drawings, can be found at: http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/9740/item18/pdf/item18.pdf
Route 422 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 private sector contributions specifically allocated to the scheme 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.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This is the final phase of the Reading section of an important new east-west cycle route which will eventually cross the majority of Berkshire. New off-carriageway cycle routes and improvements to existing cycle routes will benefit cyclists of all abilities.
“Route 422 forms part of a much wider Council strategy of creating realistic alternatives to the private car. It is essential we help manage levels of congestion and air quality to mitigate the thousands of new homes which will be built in the area over the next few years.
“Later this year the Council will be consulting with residents, businesses and organisations on other sustainable transport schemes we can take forward in future years.”
Works on the third phase will commence from the beginning of April. Whilst the majority of the works are off-carriageway, there will be some traffic management measures in place throughout the works to enable them to be undertaken safely. These will be restricted to off-peak hours where possible.
The first phase of Route 422 is made up of shared cycle and pedestrian facilities on the northern side of the Bath Road, running between the borough boundary and along the Bath Road to Southcote Road.
Phase 2 is due for full completion this spring and involves a mixture of on and off-carriageway cycle facilities linking Bath Road to east Reading, via the town centre. It includes improved crossing facilities on London Street and other junction improvements. Existing cycle lanes on Berkeley Avenue are also being widened and complemented by an off-carriageway shared use path, to help cater for inexperienced or less confident cyclists, including young cyclists travelling to nearby secondary schools.
Notes To Editor:
Route 422 is a joint project between Reading Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council, West Berkshire Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council
Bracknell Forest Council completed its elements of the scheme in 2017/18. Wokingham Borough Council and West Berkshire are due to complete their elements in early 2019/2020. 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