Reading’s active travel plans receive £500k boost

Reading Council has secured funding of £538,000 to develop plans to further improve cycling and pedestrian facilities.

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.

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.”


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