Active Travel

In May 2020, the Government launched a £2billion package to create a new era for cycling and walking in the UK. As part of this, a new Active Travel Fund was released, consisting of two tranches:

  • Tranche 1 – supports the installation of temporary projects for the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Tranche 2 – supports the creation of longer-term projects.

Tranche 2

Reading secured our full indicative allocation of £1.179m to deliver schemes as part of the second tranche of the Active Travel Fund.

Tranche 2 involves a detailed two-phase engagement and consultation approach prior to the implementation of any scheme(s). Our Consultation Plan sets out how and when we intend to undertake each engagement and consultation exercise.

Engagement Exercise (Phase 1)

Results of Engagement Exercise (Phase 1)

In line with the Active Travel Fund Programme, an initial engagement exercise on four concept schemes ran from 24th February to 23rd April 2021. The four schemes were:

  • Bath Road/Castle Hill (Southcote Lane – Inner Distribution Road (IDR)/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)

The Council received 928 responses from residents, businesses and organisations as part of the initial engagement exercise. Appendix B offers a detailed summary of responses received, including an analysis per question. Based on the responses received, whilst all schemes received a higher level of support than opposition, it was recommended that the Shinfield Road scheme is progressed to the next stage of development for the reasons set out below.

The core of each proposed scheme was the need to provide segregated cycle facilities. The level of support received for each in ranked order was as follows;

  • Shinfield Road – 61.3% supported or strongly supported the proposed segregated two-way cycle lanes.
  • Bath Road – 60.1% supported or strongly supported the proposed mostly segregated cycle lanes from Southcote Road to the IDR.
  • London Road – 60.1% supported or strongly supported the proposed segregated cycle lanes from Cemetery Junction to Kendrick Road.
  • Southampton Street – 54.1% supported or strongly supported the proposed two-way segregated cycle lanes from Crown Street to Bridge Street.

These results can be compared with the concerns respondents had for schemes expressed as being opposed or strongly opposed, again ranked in order of most concern;

  • Shinfield Road – 18.4% opposed or strongly opposed the proposed segregated two-way cycle lanes.
  • Bath Road – 21.7% opposed or strongly opposed the proposed mostly segregated cycle lanes from Southcote Road to the IDR.
  • London Road – 28.5% opposed or strongly opposed the proposed segregated cycle lanes from Cemetery Junction to Kendrick Road.
  • Southampton Street – 24.6% opposed or strongly opposed the proposed two-way segregated cycle lanes from Crown Street to Bridge Street.

The Shinfield Road scheme was thus the best supported and least opposed scheme.

This recommendation to progress the Shinfield Road scheme was approved at the Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee on 30th June 2021.

  • Committee Report – Active Travel Programme and School Streets Update
  • Appendix A – Active Travel Fund – Map of Tranche 1 and 2 Schemes
  • Appendix B – Active Travel Fund Summary of Initial Engagement Responses
  • Further details of the Committee meeting.

Next Steps

In line with the indicative timeline for the Tranche 2 programme set out below, works will now commence on the detailed design stage.

  • Initial consultation – February to April 2021 – Completed
  • Initial consultation results review and recommendation for scheme(s) to be taken forward – May to June 2021 – Completed
  • Committee approval to undertake statutory consultation – June 2021 – Completed
  • Detailed design – Summer/Autumn 2021 – In Progress
  • Statutory consultation – Autumn 2021
  • Statutory consultation results review and update scheme design – Winter 2021
  • Scheme delivery – from Spring 2022 onwards’

Tranche 1

Reading secured £221,250 for the first tranche of the Active Travel Fund. These schemes are temporary and the amount of time they are in place will be determined through continuous monitoring and close review of the latest government advice regarding Covid-19. The following temporary schemes have been implemented:

  • George Street, Reading Bridge – removal of general traffic lane to create new cycle facilities.
  • Southampton Street, Silver Street and Mount Pleasant – reallocation road space to create new cycle facilities.
  • Sidmouth Street – temporary one-way restriction and removal of one general traffic lane to provide a segregated two-way cycle lane.
  • Whitley Street – removal of general traffic lane to create new cycle facilities.
  • Oxford Road (Tilehurst) – reallocation road space to create new cycle facilities.
  • Oxford Road – introducing a number of cyclist-priority measures between Norcot Road and Bedford Road.
  • Redlands Road – introducing cycle logos alongside a separate major scheme that is being developed to improve motorist compliance with the 20mph speed limit. This scheme intends to replace the proposed ‘virtual’ speed cushions with physical measures for potential delivery in Spring 2021.
  • Christchurch Road drawing – reallocation road space to create new cycle facilities.
  • Following a trial period, the Council has decided to remove the scheme on Gosbrook Road/Westfield Road, reverting these streets back to their previous road layouts.

Next Steps

With all Tranche 1 schemes now delivered, we will continue to monitor these schemes over the coming months. A review will be undertaken once decisions on which Tranche 2 schemes to take forward have been made, to determine whether these temporary schemes are made permanent, amended, or removed in the future.

You can provide feedback on these schemes or the types of schemes we should be considering in the future using www.widenmypath.com.

Further Information

Emergency Active Travel Fund: Tranche 1 Bid

Emergency Active Travel Fund: Tranche 1 Survey

Tranche 1 – Sidmouth Street – Emergency Notice

Emergency Active Travel Fund: Tranche 2 Bid

Active Travel Fund – Tranche 2 Summary Consultation Plan