PLANS to build the Reading section of a key new cross-Berkshire cycle route are set to get the go-ahead at the next meeting of the Council’s Policy Committee on January 16.
Known as Route 422 on the National Cycle Network, the full route will eventually run from Newbury in the west to Ascot in the east, providing an important new east-west cycle route through Reading. It will link to the town centre and key destinations, including schools and employment centres, via existing cycle routes throughout the borough.
The first Reading section of the new route will see a combination of shared cycle and pedestrian facilities 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, and advanced stop lines at signalised junctions. There will be no loss of capacity for general traffic.
Route 422 is a joint project between Reading Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council, West Berkshire Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council. 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.
Phase One of the scheme in Reading will cost around £450,000. The Council’s Policy Committee will be asked to approve the spending for the work, which will be carried out in-house by the Council, and through existing contractors, to save on costs. The full report can be found at: http://www.reading.gov.uk/article/9638/Policy-Committee-16-JAN-2017 (item 14).
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This is a major new east to west cycle route crossing Reading and Berkshire which, when complete, will become a key new route for cyclists in the town and the wider region.
“Reading has successfully delivered major sustainable transport projects like the new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Thames and the two new interchanges at Reading Station over the past few years, and important new routes like this one sit alongside the Council’s on going drive to encourage sustainable ways of travelling around and through the town. It is also important to note the new route is being delivered with no loss of capacity for general traffic.”
The Reading section of Route 422 will be built in three phases. Detailed designs for Phase 2 – from Southcote Lane to Watlington Street – are being worked up, along with early designs for the final phase which will run to the borough boundary with Wokingham. Work on Phases 2 and 3 are expected to begin later this year, with the full Reading section complete by the spring of 2018.
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