Second Phase of Consultation Begins on Cycling and Walking improvements on Shinfield Road
- Formal consultation on new cycle route and improved pedestrian crossings along Shinfield Road launches today
- The fully segregated Shinfield Road route was chosen as the favourite option during informal consultation earlier this year, which attracted almost 1,000 responses
RESIDENTS and all road users are being invited to give their views on the creation of a fully segregated new cycle route on Shinfield Road, alongside improved crossings for pedestrians, as statutory consultation on the Active Travel scheme begins.
It follows an initial engagement exercise in the summer which attracted almost 1,000 responses and showed Shinfield Road as the preferred option out of four schemes put forward by Reading Borough Council.
The proposed new cycle route along Shinfield Road – between Christchurch Green and Shinfield Rise - would link south Reading and the Royal Berkshire Hospital, the University of Reading, local centres and Reading Town Centre. It also links with existing new cycle routes delivered by the Council on Redlands Road and Christchurch Road in Tranche 1 of its Active Travel programme.
New advanced stop lines and early release for cyclists will be provided to improve safety. A number of new and improved crossings for pedestrians are also a key element of the scheme.
Formal consultation begins today (26 October) and runs to 6 December. For information and to respond to the consultation go to www.reading.gov.uk/activetravel
The public can view the proposals in person and talk to members of the project team at an exhibition which takes place at the University of Reading’s Sports Park Pavilion on Tuesday 16 November, between 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm.
A statutory consultation will be held next year in association with Traffic Regulation Orders following this second phase of consultation. All feedback will help in developing the final design of the scheme, before construction begins next year.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This is an important stage of the Council’s plans to introduce a fully segregated new cycle lane along the Shinfield Road, which was the clear choice of nearly 1,000 respondents to our initial consultation earlier this year.
“The proposed two-way cycle lane will link to key centres of employment in Reading, such as the Royal Berkshire Hospital, The University and, of course, the Town Centre itself.
“It has never been more important to create realistic alternatives to the private car, both in terms of tackling congestion for road users and air quality for the residents and local communities who live on key routes.
“I would urge residents, road users, local businesses and organisations, to make time to look at the proposals online and comment or visit the drop-in exhibition and ask any questions of the team before feeding back their thoughts.”
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 18 months, 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.
Last November, 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. The latest funding would allow for key ‘missing link’ cycle lanes in the town to be created, which would be fully segregated from traffic.
Notes to editors
The Council received a total of 928 responses from residents, businesses and organisations to its initial consultation. All four proposed schemes attracted substantial levels of support.
Consultation results showed:
- 61.3% supported or strongly supported proposed two way cycle lanes on Shinfield Road – the highest level of support among the four options
- 18.4% opposed or strongly opposed the Shinfield Road scheme – the lowest level of opposition among the four options
- Shinfield Road also scored the highest level of support relative to opposition on the desire to see improved facilities for cyclists at junctions (62.8%) and on the desire to see improved crossing facilities for pedestrians (65.2%).
The four schemes consulted on were:
- Bath Road / Castle Hill (Southcote Lane – Inner Distribution Road / Castle Street)
- London Road (borough boundary to London Street)
- Shinfield Road (Christchurch Green – Shinfield Rise)
- Southampton Street (Pell Street / Crown Street – Bridge Street / Fobney Street)