Cycle Lane

Reading receives £1.3 million funding for Bath Road/Castle Hill cycling scheme

  • Important further ‘missing link’ in Reading’s existing cycle network.
  • Major improvements stretching from Berkeley Avenue, along the Bath Road to Castle Hill, then running over the IDR to Castle Street.
  • Creation of segregated lanes for cyclists to and from the town centre.

READING Borough Council has welcomed the news that it has been awarded full funding for a new cycle scheme along the Bath Road and Castle Hill in West Reading.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that Reading will receive 100% of its funding, a total of £1,300,000, as part of the national Active Travel Fund scheme.

The investment will add an important further ‘missing link’ in Reading’s existing cycle network. It follows the cycling and walking improvements due to be implemented in early summer along the Shinfield Road in South Reading. 

The outline scheme for Bath Rd/Castle Hill includes major improvements stretching from Berkeley Avenue, along the Bath Road to Castle Hill, then running over the IDR to Castle Street. It proposes reallocation of road space from general traffic to create segregated lanes for cyclists to and from the town centre.

These improvements will include the Bath Road / Castle Hill roundabout across the busy IDR junction and into and out of the town centre, alongside enhancements to facilities for pedestrians

Now that funding has been secured, a further design stage will follow. There will then be full public consultation – over the summer - on the updated scheme proposals.

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “I’m delighted that by displaying ambition and vision for Active Travel in Reading the Government has responded by awarding us increased funding to deliver another one of our key cycling schemes.

“As part of our wider Climate Emergency Strategy, these proposals underline the Council’s full commitment to tackling the poor air quality which we know exists in parts of Reading.

 “Following our public consultation in 2021, 60.1% supported or strongly supported the proposed mostly segregated cycle lanes from Southcote Road to the IDR. The Bath Road / Castle Hill scheme very much delivers a key ‘missing link’ which would allow cyclists to travel more safely to and from the Town Centre and across the busy IDR.

"Following Phase One of our Active Travel programme, the Department for Transport now require completely segregated cycle lanes as part of their funding conditions. This is intended to encourage less confident cyclists to switch to more frequent use of bikes.

“It has never been more important to promote realistic alternatives to the private car, so as to tackle congestion and improve air quality for the residents and local communities who live on these key routes.

“This excellent news comes in the wake of our work to implement cycling and walking improvements along the Shinfield Road, from Christchurch Green to Whitley Wood Road. Following the public consultation in October 2021, we hope to start work on-site in the early summer.

"We have also achieved significant improvements in other areas, including the routes on Redlands Road and Christchurch Road, delivered as part of Tranche 1 funding.

“It is important to note that the proposals for the Bath Rd/Castle Hill route are still concept designs. Once we have firmed up our proposals, we will launch a more focussed public consultation during the summer.”

Find out more about Reading’s Active Travel programme here:


Notes to editors


The Council’s segregated cycle lane proposals were developed in the context of uncertainty regarding changes to traffic flows and unknown future travel demand post Covid19. Over the past 2 years, the pandemic has changed people’s travel options, with more flexible working arrangements now the norm. Changes in travel behaviour and attitudes towards cycling, walking and public transport may reduce commuter car use in the longer term. It is possible that peak hour traffic will not return to previous levels, even if a level of normality returns.

In November 2020, the Council successfully secured £1.179m from the Department for Transport for further investment in sustainable travel options for Reading, as part of ‘Tranche 2’ of the national Active Travel Fund. The investment aims to improve cycling, walking and public transport in the local area, including safe, dedicated cycle lanes, new crossings and wider footways. With the latest announcement of Tranche 3, the total funding stands at almost £2.5 million.

The Bath Road scheme was one of four proposed new cycle schemes which formed part of an initial public consultation which included consultation postcards sent to 20,000 homes - nearly one in three of all households in Reading. The other schemes included Southampton Street and Oracle Roundabout, London Road (Borough boundary to Cemetery Junction), Forbury Road / Vastern Road (Watlington Street – Reading Bridge) and Shinfield Road (Christchurch Green – Whitley Wood Road). All four proposed schemes attracted substantial levels of support, with the Shinfield Road – running between Christchurch Green and Shinfield Rise, selected as part of the Tranche 2 funding.