Oxford Road Improvements Will Support Cow Lane Scheme

Tony Page
Cllr Tony Page

RESIDENTS and businesses in and around Reading’s Oxford Road are being given another opportunity to view long standing Council plans to make improvements in the area.

Reading Borough Council’s proposals to create a better and safer environment for the Oxford Road are were first consulted on back in 2013, but have not yet been realised because of delays to Network Rail’s major project to widen and improve Cow Lane bridges.

With Network Rail’s work anticipated to begin in the Autumn, the Council is now taking the opportunity to remind the public of its plans, and give them another chance to have their say through an informal consultation process.

The Council intends to support the new unrestricted traffic route through Cow Lane bridges with a package of transport improvements for the Oxford Road area. These include improved cycle and pedestrian facilities, alongside new sections of bus lane, to complement the Cow Lane scheme.

Plans will be available to view in person at Battle Library on Tuesday June 20th, between 1pm and 7pm. They can also be viewed online at http://www.reading.gov.uk/transport-schemes-and-projects.

People can respond to the informal consultation process by emailing comments to: transport@reading.gov.uk or by writing to: Oxford Road Consultation, Transport Department, Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU.

Statutory consultation will take place later this year after feedback received via the informal consultation process is taken into account.

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

“This is important package of transport improvements for the Oxford Road area which would sit alongside and complement Network’s Rail’s long-awaited scheme to widen and improve Cow Lane.

“Residents, businesses and anyone who regularly uses the Oxford Road will know all too well the bottleneck caused by limited road capacity under Cow Lane bridges, and the detrimental knock-on effect for the wider area.

“The Oxford Road is not just a through route, it is a destination in its own right. When taken together, the proposed measures will help create a safer and more welcoming environment for residents, businesses and visitors.

“Unfortunately, delays to the delivery of Network Rail’s scheme have postponed the Council’s supporting package of road improvements. With work due to begin in the Autumn, this is now the right time for the Council to remind the public of the Council’s proposals, which would support new the new unrestricted traffic route through the bridges, and to give people another opportunity to have their say.”

When completed by Network Rail, the planned improvements at Cow Lane bridges will remove the current height restriction and the current traffic bottleneck by creating a wider road big enough to allow two vehicles to safely pass, as well as allowing the future use of double-deck buses for the first time ever. It will mean traffic lights will no longer be needed and substantial benefits for pedestrians and cyclists with new shared use footway/cycleways introduced through the bridges.