Changes to road, cycling and pedestrian provisions in ReadingTuesday, 09 June 2020
Reading Borough Council have recently approved plans to re-allocate some roads in Reading for cycling and walking over the next 12 months. This follows guidance from the government for local authorities to enact swift changes to make space for more pedestrians and cyclists amid responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The plans are underlined in the Active Travel Proposal and are the result of the need to encourage active travel methods and adhere to social distancing requirements. The proposals will be made relatively quickly in the coming weeks through the enactment of temporary traffic regulation orders (TRO) as advised by the government.
Whether the changes will be made permanent will be dependent on the outcome of monitoring each change and the outcome of statutory consultations.
Of the planned changes, there are three which are particularly relevant to staff and students travelling to the University of Reading:
- Redlands Road: A southbound cycle lane (uphill) will be introduced alongside cycle priority measures at Christchurch Green junction. There are currently no plans to introduce a downhill cycle lane.
- Southampton Street (A327)/Silver Street: Introduce cycle lanes through removal of existing road hatching.
- Whitley Street Local Centre: Remove one outbound traffic lane and reallocate it to cyclists, alongside other improvements for pedestrians.
We are pleased to note Redlands Road is included in the new changes, as this was a key request by current and would-be cyclists in our most recent travel survey and has also been raised by the University for several years.
As the wider changes may also affect your current or future journeys to the University, it is recommended to review the Active Travel Proposal for details of other proposed changes.
The new infrastructure is welcomed by the University, who are committed to sustainable travel and we hope these are the start of wider improvements in the town.
The proposed schemes can be considered the first steps in the Council's wider plans for transport in Reading, which can be found in the draft Transport Strategy, and draft sub-strategy Local Walking & Cycling Infrastructure Plan. The Council is currently undergoing consultation for both of these strategies; now is an excellent time to consider what transport in Reading should look like in a post-Covid world.
More details on the outcomes of the University's most recent Travel Survey will also be available shortly.