Sidmouth Street cycle lane 1E

Funding secured to progress cycling and walking projects

  • Active Travel funding of £538,000 to develop designs for Sidmouth Street cycle lane scheme and Christchurch Green junction improvements

Funding of £538,000 has been secured by the Council to develop plans to further improve cycling and pedestrian facilities in Reading.

The award from the government agency Active Travel England will help the Council develop detailed designs for schemes at Sidmouth Street and Christchurch Green.

The funding supports the Council’s aim to encourage cycling and walking in the borough by providing improved infrastructure, while reducing congestion and the impact of poor air quality on the health of Reading residents.

At this stage, the money will be used to develop detailed designs for both projects only. This would be in readiness for opportunities to bid for further funds to implement them in the future.

Sidmouth Street segregated cycle lane was originally introduced on a temporary basis in summer 2020 and the Council agreed to make the scheme permanent in September 2022. The long-term ambition has always been to link it with an expanded cycle network in the future if and when funding streams become available.

Funding of £238,000 will help develop plans for improved cycle and pedestrian connectivity at the junction of Sidmouth Street and Queens Road. The longer term ambition is for the cycle lane to link with the Kennet towpath and with the existing shared-use cycle path on London Road.

A further £320,000 has been allocated to design pedestrian and cycle improvements at the Christchurch Green junction.

The new award is an extension to the £75,000 funding the Council received from the Active Travel Fund 4 in October 2023 to install a zebra crossing in Upper Redlands Road. The scheme was jointly proposed by the Council, St Joseph’s College and University of Reading and is progressing towards implementation later this year.

Work is also due to start this year on improved cycling and pedestrian provision in the Bath Road/Castle Hill area after the Council secured £2.3m active travel funding from the government in 2022.

Reading was also recently awarded £123,743 Capability funding which is being used to provide free adult cycling training, bike maintenance workshops and Dr Bike pop up sessions in Broad Street, the next of which is happening on Thursday 4 April, 11am-2pm.

James Crosbie, Assistant Director for Planning, Transport and Public Protection, said:

“The extra funding from Active Travel England is very welcome and will help us progress two projects which will deliver significant improvements for cyclists and pedestrians in the future.

“The Council has always considered a fully segregated Sidmouth Street cycle lane to be a vital link in an improved and expanded cycle network across the town and this funding takes us one step closer to achieving that, although future funding opportunities are still required in order to achieve this ambition.

“This funding, combined with other active travel projects in the pipeline, support the Council’s aim of providing attractive alternatives to the private car, which cuts carbon emissions, improves air quality and benefits the health and wellbeing of residents.”

See the Strategic and Town Centre Cycle Routes page on the Council’s website for more details and a link to a map of Reading cycle routes: