Final Phase of Cross-Reading Cycle Route set to be Approved

WORK on the final phase of a key new cycle route, which will eventually cross Reading and Berkshire, is set to be approved by the Council next week (Nov 21).

Known as Route 422 on the National Cycle Network, when complete the new route it will run from its start point of Newbury in the west and on to Ascot in the east via Reading, 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 existing local cycle routes R20 and R3.

Members are set to approve spending on the scheme at the next meeting of the Council’s Strategic Environment Planning and Transport Committee on November 21st. 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 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 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.

Tony Page
Cllr Tony Page

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

“This is the third and final phase of the Reading section of a key new the new east-west cycle route which will eventually cross the majority of Berkshire.

“With the new off-carriageway cycle route being created, and improvements to existing cycle routes, this phase of work will benefit both experienced cyclists and those who are not so confident.

“The creation of new and improved cycle routes forms one 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. The solution is to develop sustainable alternatives which offer a faster alternative to tens of thousands of new, and existing, car journeys.

“The Reading section of Route 422 is being led and largely delivered by an in-house Council team to save on costs. It is also being built with no loss of capacity for general traffic when the cycle facilities are complete.”

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 completion this winter 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 Editors:

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

Oscar Mortali

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