THE next phase of work on a key new cycle route – which will eventually cross Reading and Berkshire – begins next week.
Known as Route 422 on the National Cycle Network, the route will provide an important new east-west cycle route through Reading, linking the town centre and key destinations in the town, including schools and employment centres, via existing cycle routes throughout the borough. When complete Route 422 will run from its start point of Newbury in the west and on to Ascot in the east.
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 when the cycle lane is built.
Work began last month along the Bath Road and is progressing well. This has involved the reconstruction of the footway between Parkside Road and Southcote Road and these initial works are expected to be complete next week.
The next phase of the project is to construct a ‘raised table’ across Southcote Road, at its junction with Bath Road. This is an additional safety measure to help slow down traffic at a key junction of the new cycle route, and to provide an improved crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists. This work is scheduled to begin on Thursday February 23 and will involve the closure of Southcote Road at its junction of Bath Road for a period of approximately two weeks.
Road users will be given advanced warning of the closure through on-street signs and notices displayed on the variable message signs in the area. Residents and road users who usually use the junction are advised to instead access Southcote Road from Tilehurst Road, either via Liebenrood Road from the west or Russell Street from the east. Pedestrian access will be retained during these works.
A later phase of the works will involve a similar temporary closure of Honey End Lane, at its junction with Bath Road. Details of timings for the closure will be publicised nearer the time, and again advanced warnings will be given. At this stage it is intended for this phase of works to take place during the Easter school holidays when traffic levels are lower.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“Work is progressing well on what will be an important new cycle route for Reading and the wider region. The next stage of works involves the temporary closure of Southcote Road, at its junction with Bath Road, for a raised table to be built at what will be a key junction for the new cycle route. This work will obviously cause some disruption and we would ask all road users to bear with us while this phase of works takes place.
“As we have said previously, the Council needs to balance the demands of all road users on limited road space in Reading, which means a shared cycle and pedestrian facility is the only way the new route can be delivered without the loss of road space for general traffic.”
Notes To Editors:
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.
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