Reading residents, road users and businesses are all set to benefit from a series of congestion-cutting initiatives, following another successful bid for funding by Reading Borough Council.
The Council’s improvement works will focus on addressing congestion levels along the busy A4, a key strategic route for people travelling into Reading from the east. Motorists, public transport users and cyclists will all benefit from a series of initiatives which will speed up trips and improve reliability, particularly for many local and regional bus services.
Key elements of Reading Borough Council’s £1.5 million project are:
• Proposed installation of three bus lay-bys along London Road, for buses stopping to pick-up passengers without interrupting the flow of traffic
• Creating additional road space for westbound traffic through the installation of a right-turn filter lane
• Upgrading traffic signals at Sutton Seeds roundabout
• Bus priority at Sutton Seeds roundabout
• An extension to the Kings Road outbound bus lane at Cemetery Junction
• Providing improved cycle crossing facilities to link to alternative cycle routes alongside this corridor
The Council has been awarded the money as part of the Department for Transport’s ‘Pinch Point’ funding pot. The DfT announced the availability of additional funding for local authority schemes that previously missed out on funding. Reading’s A4 project was one of those. The latest successful bid for funding by Reading Borough Council adds to the previous £6.5 million the Council was awarded for improvement works to Reading Bridge and the A33.
Reading’s A4 bid was supported by Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Reading Buses and First Group.
Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport said:
“The A4 is a major gateway into Reading from the east and a key strategic route for the wider Thames Valley region. This successful bid allows us to make a series of improvements along this important corridor, which together will help to speed up trips and increase the reliability of journeys for the very many people who regularly use this route.
“The project includes creating bus lay-bys which will allow drivers to pass buses without delay as they stop to pick up passengers, creating bus priority routes at key points like the Sutton Seeds roundabout and through Cemetery junction, and improved facilities for cyclists to cross the A4 and access alternative east to west routes into Reading.
“This successful bid for funding is yet another example of Reading Borough Council’s impressive track record in securing external investment in our town and it sits alongside the £6.5 million we have already secured for improvement works to Reading Bridge and the A33, two other key routes through the town. I’d also like to thank the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Reading Buses and First Group for adding their support to the Council’s bid.”
The next stage in the project will be detailed design work and the formal statutory consultation processes for the proposed new bus lane, with the aim of the A4 improvement works starting in the new year.