WORK begins next week on the Reading section of a key new cross-Berkshire cycle route which will eventually run from Newbury to Ascot.
Known as Route 422 on the National Cycle Network, the full route will provide an important new east-west cycle route through Reading and Berkshire. It will link to Reading town centre and key destinations in the town, 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 when the cycle lane is built.
Work will initially begin on Monday 23rd January, between the Bath Road junctions with Southcote Road and Parkside Road. This will involve an off-peak lane closure for approximately 2 weeks in order to carry out works while maintaining a pedestrian route. Some disruption is expected as a result. Phase One of the scheme will be carried out in-house by the Council, and through existing contractors, to save on costs.
As the scheme progresses two raised tables will be constructed at the Bath Road junctions with Southcote Road and Honey End Lane. Short term temporary road closures of Southcote Road and Honey End Lane will be in place for this phase of the works to take place.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This is a key new cycle route which will cross the whole of Reading, from its boundary with West Berkshire in the west and Wokingham in the east. When the whole scheme is complete it will run from Newbury to Ascot, providing an important new route for cyclists.
“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.
“The work is being carried out largely in-house to save on costs, and I would ask residents who regularly use the Bath Road to bear with us while this work is carried out.”
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