THREE new eco-friendly transport routes are in the works, making it easier to cycle and walk between Woodley town centre and Reading’s Palmer Park.
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, Wokingham Borough Council’s Executive Member for highways and transport, chaired an Individual Executive Member Decision meeting last Thursday where she was expected to approve a recommendation that the council uses funding from the Department of Transport to build an initial section.
This will link Woodlands Avenue between Woodley’s town centre and Bulmershe Leisure Centre and is part of a £4 million project, for which £576,650 will come from the government’s Active Travel Fund. The remaining funding will be found by the council.
When completed, it will continue to Palmer Park, on the border between Reading and Wokingham boroughs. It should be in use from spring next year.
A second scheme will run along the A4 London Road to either Sutton Seeds roundabout or Thames Valley Park.
The final scheme will go from Wokingham town centre, along London Road and then Seaford Road, Denton Road and Luckley Path.
Each project would be segregated cycle paths.
Research from the council showed that at the moment, between two-thirds and three-quarters of road users were motorists but would be more likely to switch to greener routes if available.
For the Wokingham scheme, 31% said they would be more likely to cycle, but 28% said it would not change their plans.
For the Earley A4 London Road scheme, 44% would cycle more and 18% said it wouldn’t change their behaviour.
And for the Woodley route, 45% said they would get on their bikes more frequently and 21% would drive less often.
Further consultation with residents on detailed plans for the Woodley to Reading route will come forward later this year.
“Feedback from our residents tells us they want to see segregated cycleways and these would lead to more of them feeling safe to travel around their area on their bikes,” said Cllr Jorgensen.
“We’re hoping to bring that to Woodley over the next year, with the first section of the Woodley to Reading route between Woodley town centre and Bulmershe Leisure Centre. We’re already looking at how to get funding in place to complete the rest of the route.”
The other routes will be progressed subject to further consultation and when funds allow.
The full engagement summary will be available on the MyJourney Wokingham website.
Cllr Jorgensen said that the council continues to invest in infrastructure across its road network to make it easier for residents to walk and cycle across the borough.
This includes the greenways network and investment in cycle paths in other areas as better facilities will help cut the number of car journeys within the borough.