WORK on the next phase of a key new cycle route – which will eventually cross Reading and Berkshire – will begin early in the New Year.
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.
Work on the second phase of the scheme – currently scheduled to start on January 2nd – 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 junction improvements.
Existing cycle lanes on Berkeley Avenue will be 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.
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.
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.
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.
Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“With the first section in the west of the borough now virtually complete, this latest phase will link Bath Road to east Reading via the Town Centre, and using existing cycle lanes as well as new ones.
“Route 422 sits alongside other Council schemes to build dedicated new bus lanes running north to south and east to west at key corridors in Reading to provide realistic alternatives to the car and encourage sustainable transport options for commuters and residents.
“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.”
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.
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.
Detailed designs for the Phase 3 of the Reading 422 route, which will run between London Road and the borough boundary, are being developed and take into consideration wider transport improvements.
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