Emergency Active Travel Fund – tranche 2 survey

General

What is your local transport authority name?
Reading Borough Council

Strategic case

Please set out the context for the bid by briefly explaining the local transport problem, challenge or needs that your bid will help to address. These should be consistent with the objectives of the Fund set out in the bid invitation letter.

Reading is a strategic location in the South East, home to around 163,000 people in the Borough and a further 60,000 people in the wider urban area. Reading is a major hub for transport movement being situated on the Great Western Main Line and M4 corridor. Reading Railway Station is one of the busiest stations outside London with over 20 million passengers a year, and marks the western terminus of the Elizabeth Line. In addition, Reading has the third highest bus usage (per head of population) outside London. For our residents, travelling by bus in Reading is seen as essential by many and therefore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is of paramount importance that well-planned and high-quality active travel alternatives are made available for people who would otherwise rely on our extensive bus network.

Despite good quality bus and rail services, Reading is one of the most congested areas in the UK as a result of a high proportion of car-based journeys. Central Government statistics indicate that Reading has the third highest levels of delays on A-roads of any local authority outside London. Emissions from transport are a significant contributor to poor air quality and we have declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) covering Reading town centre and all the key radial routes serving the town. Not only does this have environmental implications, but poor air quality has significant impacts on the health of residents and visitors in Reading. To respond fully to the Climate Emergency (declared by the Council in February 2019), there is an urgent need to reduce dependency on cars altogether. This requires us to enable a step-change in travel behaviour to make walking and cycling the natural travel choice for shorter
distance journeys, or as part of longer distance journeys connecting with public transport services.

In order to achieve this step change, our strategy as set out in our new Local Transport Plan (LTP), the Reading Transport Strategy 2036, and Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is to reallocate road space from general traffic to deliver high quality, attractive walking and cycling facilities that are inclusive and accessible to all. Our LTP and LCWIP, both of which are currently out to public consultation, include the guiding policies and principles, alongside schemes and initiatives to be delivered, to enable us to achieve our overall vision for a step-change in sustainable travel choices in
Reading. Our LTP monitoring programme shows that cyclists currently form 4.3% of trips to/from the town centre, and walking accounts for 29.4%. This demonstrates that there is significant potential to increase the levels of mode share for active travel with the implementation of high quality infrastructure.

Active travel networks in Reading already cover a significant area, including four routes on the National Cycle Network with the latest (NCN 422) which has recently been implemented by the Council with Local Growth Funding from Central Government. However, despite the existing network of NCN and local cycle routes there are key locations which lack cycle facilities and therefore the overall network is disjointed
and lacks connectivity. These are generally located in heavily congested locations where historically implementing cycle facilities has been difficult to achieve, however they are critical to providing joined-up routes to key destinations including the town centre, Royal Berkshire Hospital and the University of Reading. Furthermore, the provision of segregated infrastructure on the wider cycle network is currently disjointed overall and does not provide a continuous, permeable network of high-quality, segregated routes for cyclists. Facilities for pedestrians to key services and destinations also requires localised enhancements to overcome severance issues and improve local accessibility. The key locations where the overall connectivity and quality of cycle and walking routes requires targeted enhancement are set out below:

  • Bath Road/Castle Hill (A4155) and Southampton Street (A327) are both key routes which presently create a significant severance issue for pedestrians and cyclists wanting to travel direct via radial routes between the town centre and the wider urban area, due to a lack of active travel infrastructure. These key radial routes intersect with the Inner Distribution Road (IDR) which presents a huge barrier and severance issue for all trips to the town centre from the wider urban area, and from the town centre to key locations including the Hospital and University. This creates a less attractive and safe place to walk or cycle and lacks a sense of comfort for people due to a lack of suitable infrastructure, creating a significant barrier to enabling a step-change in active travel trips in Reading.
  • Shinfield Road (A327) is a key radial route between Reading and Wokingham Boroughs. This is a busy route which provides direct access to the University of Reading and links to the Royal Berkshire Hospital. This is one of the only strategic routes in Reading which does not currently offer any cycle provision and lacks in quality infrastructure for pedestrians. There is a great need to provide better access between South Reading (with high levels of deprivation) and these key destinations, including the town centre, therefore this route is a key missing link in the existing active travel network.
  • London Road (A4) is a further key radial route between Reading and Wokingham Boroughs, which provides a connection to the town centre and Royal Berkshire Hospital. London Road is often heavily congested, and car dominated with direct links to the A329(M), connecting to the M4. Thames Valley Park, Sutton Seeds and Winnersh Triangle (via A329(M)) business parks are all within close proximity to London Road, attracting high volumes of traffic that will travel via this route.

Forbury Road forms part of the IDR and currently only offers a limited shared cycle and pedestrian facility, yet is a key route to the town centre and Reading Railway Station and is a missing strategic link for cyclists. The nature of the road, being two lanes in each direction, does not give pedestrians and cyclists a sense of safety or provide continuous segregation from motorised traffic.

As set out above, we have ambitious plans and aspirations to provide high quality, well-designed cycle and walking facilities to tackle key missing links in the existing active travel network in Reading. We consider the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) an exciting opportunity to enable delivery of essential high-quality, fully segregated active travel infrastructure that will greatly enhance opportunities for more journeys being made on foot and bicycle, and support sustainable-led COVID-19 recovery. The schemes we are currently delivering through EATF Tranche 1 and our proposed schemes for Tranche 2 (as set out in the response to Q3 below) aim to both address short-term safety and social distancing considerations and deliver long-term change post-COVID lockdown; addressing key issues including congestion, air pollution, social inequalities and the global climate crisis.

Please provide a summary of the proposed scheme(s).

The scheme proposals set out below have been developed in line with our ambitious new LTP (the Reading Transport Strategy 2036) and LCWIP. Our overall strategy is to provide segregated cycle and walking facilities on radial routes connecting with the town centre, focused on areas where public transport services are becoming constrained and where active travel has the potential to significantly enhance local mobility options. In line with the objectives of the EATF, we have identified specific locations where targeted investment in cycling and walking infrastructure will provide maximum benefit.

The proposed schemes for EATF Tranche 2 have been selected having undertaken a comprehensive scheme identification and prioritisation exercise, whereby schemes were scored based on criteria that encompass strategic policies and plans, design and deliverability and directly reflect the objectives of the EATF. This process is outlined further in our response to Question 4. Our scheme package comprises five infrastructure schemes in total, two of which are core schemes that are deliverable within the indicative EATF Tranche 2 funding allocation, and a further three additional schemes that highlight our ambition to make a radical change to Reading’s transport network. A key focus of our scheme package is on the reallocation of road space from motorised traffic to provide segregated facilities for active travel. The package is specifically focused on providing much needed linkages between existing facilities in locations which currently present a significant barrier and severance issue (particularly on the Inner Distribution Road), to create a more coherent and comprehensive cycle and walking network in Reading. The schemes are summarised below (in priority order).
An overview plan of all proposed schemes and individual scheme concept plans providing a visual illustration of our scheme proposals have been prepared and emailed to walking.cycling@dft.gov.uk.

  1. Southampton Street and Oracle Roundabout (Pell Street – Inner Distribution Road/Bridge Street) – This core scheme will provide a segregated cycleway along Southampton Street and amendments at the junctions at either end to tie in with existing cycle infrastructure, through the reallocation of road space from general traffic to active travel. This is a key missing link in the existing network and will provide a continuous link between exiting routes including NCN Routes 4 and 422, and the mandatory cycle lane that has recently been implemented through EATF Tranche 1.
  2. Bath Road/Castle Hill (Southcote Lane – Inner Distribution Road/Castle Street) – The core scheme (Inner Distribution Road – Russell Street) involves reallocating road space from general traffic to provide segregated provision for cyclists on a direct strategic route to and from the town centre which is a further missing link on the existing network. The additional scheme (Russell Street – Southcote Lane) will continue this infrastructure further west to link with the new NCN route 422 and connect with existing routes west of the railway bridge. Both cyclists and pedestrians will benefit from the physically segregated infrastructure through the reallocation of road space form general traffic for active travel.
  3. Shinfield Road (Christchurch Green – Whitley Wood Road) – This additional scheme will provide a segregated two-way cycleway, linking to the EATF Tranche 1 schemes on Redlands Road and Christchurch Road. This scheme would provide a high-quality facility on this key desire line between South Reading and Royal Berkshire Hospital, the University of Reading, local centres and Reading town centre.
  4. London Road (Borough Boundary to Cemetery Junction) – This additional scheme involves reallocating existing carriageway space from general traffic to provide an inbound shared bus and cycle lane, balancing our ambitions to provide enhanced provision for cyclists alongside bus priority measures on this strategic corridor. It will provide a key missing link with the shared bus and cycle facility currently being implemented through our EATF Tranche 1 package on London Road outside of the Hospital, and Wokingham Borough Council’s EATF Tranche 2 proposed shared bus and cycle facility on London Road (up to Shepherds House roundabout).
  5. Forbury Road/Vastern Road (Watlington Street – Reading Bridge) – This additional scheme will provide a physically-segregated two-way cycleway through reallocating road space from general traffic for active travel on this key section of the Inner Distribution Road which surrounds the town centre. The scheme will also provide further separation for pedestrians through lower volumes of cyclists using the existing shared footway. Complementary measures will support this scheme between the Royal Berkshire Hospital and Reading Railway Station.
  6. School Streets and Complementary Measures Package – This additional revenue scheme provides a series of promotional initiatives to complement the above infrastructure schemes. These initiatives will deliver targeted promotional activity in 2020/21 to directly promote and encourage cycling and walking in the local area and on the above scheme proposals. This will further raise awareness and boost the demand for these modes locally on these key routes. A key focus of the package will be on school travel, including the promotion of School Streets through engagement with schools to deliver this targeted programme. A proportion of the revenue funding will be used for monitoring purposes through installing counter facilities that measure the level of pedestrian/cycle usage for each scheme. This data would also be used to inform future active travel schemes that will be implemented in Reading.

The implementation of new cycling and walking facilities as set out above, coupled with improvements made to existing routes will create a more cohesive and attractive cycling and walking network throughout Reading. The proposed schemes will enable safer and more direct routes linking to and from Reading Station and other key destinations including the Hospital and University, enabling cycling and walking to replace private car traffic and help to take pressure off bus journeys during the current pandemic.

Our Tranche 2 scheme package will address the challenges set out in Q2 above by reallocating road space from general traffic to create high quality strategic routes, benefitting both cyclists and pedestrians with segregated facilities. Schemes will also upgrade and enhance the value of existing routes ensuring they are more accessible for users of all abilities. The Tranche 2 scheme package will help create a more comprehensive and coherent active travel network, with continuous facilities linking people to key destinations and ultimately encouraging more trips to be made wholly by bike or on foot.

Removing severance on some of Reading’s most heavily-trafficked roads will offer safer means of travel by cycle or on foot and increase priority for these users. Safety of cyclists and pedestrians will be increased where routes are physically segregated for each user, rather than a shared use solution. This perceived sense of safety and increased priority will give confidence to those that do not usually travel by these modes and provide even greater potential to make long term travel behaviour changes.
Additionally, bus users will benefit from high frequency bus routes being more easily accessed via widened footways and new cycleways. These schemes will also offer an attractive alternative to public transport, resulting in greater capacity and space on buses for those users that may not be able to travel via foot or on bike.

Measures such as cycle parking, cycle maintenance hubs and School Streets (including promotional activities) will complement the core schemes identified for EATF funding and will change the whole experience of cycling and walking for all and alter people’s long-term travel behaviour, resulting in wider health, environmental and congestion benefits.

These proposed schemes are consistent with objectives of the EATF, they are deliverable within the required timescales and can demonstrate the appropriate political support and design feasibility. We intend to build on these schemes by implementing wider improvements identified within our LCWIP through further local investment through our on-going LTP programme.

What prioritisation has been undertaken to identify these proposed scheme(s)?

  • Scheme(s) identified in Local Cycling and Walking Investment Plan (LCWIP)
  • Scheme(s) identified in Local Transport Plan
  • Scheme(s) identified by the Rapid Cycleway Prioritisation Tool
  • Scheme(s) identified using the Propensity to Cycle Tool
  • Scheme(s) identified through consultation with stakeholders
  • Other (please specify):

We have undertaken a comprehensive scheme prioritisation and selection process for EATF Tranche 2, drawing on a wide range of evidence and datasets to identify and develop an ambitious scheme package for cycling and walking. A robust evidence base, informed by local consultation, was undertaken for the recently published Reading LCWIP. This evidence has been used to help identify priority schemes for Tranche 2 that align strongly with both the EATF guidance and our local transport policies and aspirations. We have also used the Rapid Cycleway Prioritisation Tool, the Propensity to Cycle Tool and local Census data (via Datashine) to examine areas of high demand for cycling and walking that also align with key public transport corridors. A multi-criteria appraisal tool has been used to capture this information and score and rank potential schemes against key criteria. This resulted in a shortlist of schemes being identified that will deliver segregated cycling and walking infrastructure to benefit both cyclists and pedestrians, reflect areas of high demand for cycling and walking propensity, and are deliverable within the provisional Tranche 2 budget and current financial year. We convened Member and officer workshops to consider the relative weight of stakeholder support and to identify schemes that support inclusive mobility and represent value for money. A final scheme package represents a meaningful reallocation of road space to provide high quality, segregated cycling and walking routes on four high-frequency public transport corridors.

LCWIPs

Which LCWIP does the scheme(s) fall under?

Reading Urban Area (Reading Borough Council, developed in partnership with Wokingham Borough Council and West Berkshire Council)

Please provide a URL to the LCWIP if available
www.reading.gov.uk/transportstrategy

Scheme 1

Scheme name
Southampton Street and Oracle Roundabout (Pell Street to Bridge Street) – priority 1

Total scheme cost (£)
£770,000

Please provide a clear description of the scheme

Southampton Street is a multi-lane, one-way arterial road with high traffic volumes and high frequency bus services connecting to the town centre and rail station. There is an existing shared-use footway/ cycleway on the eastern side of carriageway with no separate delineated space for cyclists. The Oracle Roundabout is a multi-lane roundabout beneath the Inner Distribution Road, which forms a physical barrier to movement into the town centre. Bridge Street, to the north of the Oracle Roundabout, provides connections to the wider cycle network (including National Cycle Network routes).

The proposals are for a temporary scheme to enable accelerated delivery and to be affordable within the EATF indicative allocation. The scheme is intended to be accompanied by full consultation, with a view to making the infrastructure permanent in the future, subject to feedback. The key elements are as follows:

  • Cycleway with light segregation from motor traffic using wands;
  • Road space reallocation with nearside traffic lane and nearside roundabout lane converted into cycleway;
  • Redesign of the western side of the Oracle Roundabout to accommodate a segregated cycle track and enhance safety for cyclists and pedestrians;
  • Redesign western side of Crown Street / Pell Street / Southampton Street signal junction, to enable safe transitions between proposed cycle track and avoid the need to cross the carriageway in multiple stages; and
  • Bus stop enhancements at one location to reduce conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Provision of new secure cycle parking outside existing cycle shop on this route.
  • A plan has been separately provided illustrating scheme extents and indicative locations of proposed improvements.
  • In addition, we have developed a concept scheme for a permanent, fully segregated cycleway with kerb separation in this location. This has been estimated to cost approximately £1.6m by external consultants.

What measures are included in your proposed scheme(s)?

  • New segregated cycleway (permanent)
  • New segregated cycleway (temporary)
  • Installing segregation to make an existing cycle route safer
  • Provision of secure cycle parking facilities
  • Provision for monitoring and evaluation of schemes
  • Other (please specify):

Pedestrian improvements e.g. reduced cycle usage on existing shared paths, junction treatment works, raised tables, revised signal phasing and other accessibility enhancements.

For corridor schemes, please provide the route length in miles
0.13 miles

For area-wide schemes, please provide the number of units proposed
Not applicable

Total scheme cost (£)
£740,000 – core scheme (Inner Distribution Road – Russell Street)
£430,000 – Additional Scheme (Russell Street – Southcote Lane)

Please provide a clear description of the scheme

Bath Road and Castle Hill form a multi-lane, single-carriageway arterial route with high traffic volumes and high frequency bus services. They connect west Reading with the town centre, including Reading Railway Station. The roads and their major junctions act as major physical barriers to cycle and pedestrian movement, particularly the Castle Street/Inner Distribution Road signal-controlled roundabout. The corridor is identified as a strategic cycle route in the Reading LCWIP. There are some sections of existing off-carriageway cycle infrastructure shared with pedestrians.

The scheme proposals are for a temporary scheme to enable accelerated delivery and to be affordable within the EATF indicative allocation. The scheme will be accompanied by full consultation, with a view to making the infrastructure permanent in the future. The scheme is divided into two adjacent sections, with a core scheme (Inner Distribution – Russell Street) prioritised for funding within the DfT indicative allocation and a complementary scheme (Russell Street – Southcote Lane) connecting with it, should additional funding be available. The key elements of the core scheme are as follows:

  • Two-way cycleway, with light segregation from motor traffic using wands;
  • Road space reallocation from existing carriageway space;
  • Junction improvements at the Bath Road / Castle Hill / Coley Avenue / Russell Street signal junction;
  • Junction improvements at the Castle Street / Inner Distribution Road signal controlled roundabout;
  • Priority side road crossings at two locations, to enhance safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • The Castle Street / Inner Distribution Road signal roundabout will provide a template for infrastructure improvements at similar complex junctions elsewhere in the borough. The key elements of the additional scheme are as follows:
  • Two-way cycleway, with light segregation from motor traffic using wands;
  • Road space reallocation from existing carriageway space;
  • Junction improvements at the Bath Road / Berkeley Avenue signal junction to segregate cycle movements from motor traffic;
  • Signal crossing upgrade to enable transitions between proposed cycle track and existing shared-use provision to south of carriageway, with connections to Southcote Lane;
  • Priority side road crossings at six locations, to enhance safety for cyclists and pedestrians;
  • Bus stop enhancements at four locations to reduce conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.

A plan has been separately provided illustrating scheme extents and indicative locations of proposed improvements.

In addition, we have developed a concept scheme for a permanent, fully segregated cycleway with kerb separation in this location. This has been estimated to cost approximately £1.9m (core scheme) and £1.5m (additional scheme) by external consultants.

What measures are included in your proposed scheme(s)?

  • New segregated cycleway (permanent)
  • New segregated cycleway (temporary)
  • Installing segregation to make an existing cycle route safer
  • Restriction or reduction of parking availability (e.g. closing bays or complemented by increasing fees)
  • Provision for monitoring and evaluation of schemes
  • Other (please specify):

Pedestrian improvements, eg reduced cycle usage on existing shared paths, junction treatment works, raised tables, revised signal phasing and other accessibility enhancements.

For corridor schemes, please provide the route length in miles
0.79 miles

For area-wide schemes, please provide the number of units proposed
Not applicable

Scheme 3

Scheme name
Shinfield Road (Christchurch Green to Whitley Wood Road – Priority 3

Total scheme cost (£)
£1,100,000

Please provide a clear description of the scheme

Shinfield Road is a single-carriageway radial route connecting south Reading and the University of Reading’s main campus with the town centre. The route has high traffic volumes, high frequency bus services and no existing protected cycling infrastructure. The corridor has been identified as a strategic cycle route in the Reading LCWIP. The scheme will cover the section of Shinfield Road between Christchurch Green and Whitley Wood Road signal junctions.

The proposals are for a temporary scheme to enable accelerated delivery and to be affordable within potential further EATF allocations. The scheme is intended to be accompanied by full consultation, with a view to making the infrastructure permanent in the future, subject to feedback. The key elements are as follows:

  • Two-way cycleway, with light segregation from motor traffic using wands;
  • Road space reallocation;
  • Junction improvements at four main locations, providing space for cycle tracks and modifying signals to enable safer cycle movements; and
  • Priority side road crossings, to enhance safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

A plan has been separately provided illustrating scheme extents and indicative locations of proposed improvements.

In addition, we have developed a concept scheme for a permanent, fully segregated cycleway with kerb separation in this location. This has been estimated to cost approximately £3.6m by external consultants.

What measures are included in your proposed scheme(s)?

  • New segregated cycleway (permanent)
  • New segregated cycleway (temporary)
  • Provision of secure cycle parking facilities
  • Provision for monitoring and evaluation of schemes
  • Other (please specify):

Pedestrian improvements, for example reduced cycle usage on existing share paths, junction treatment works, raised tables, revised signal phasing and other accessibility enhancements.

For corridor schemes, please provide the route length in miles
1.22 miles

For area-wide schemes, please provide the number of units proposed
Not applicable

Scheme 4

Scheme name
London Road (Borough Boundary to Cemetery Junction) – Priority 4

Total scheme cost (£)
£240,000

Please provide a clear description of the scheme

London Road is a three-lane single carriageway radial route connecting East Reading and Woodley (in Wokingham Borough) to Reading town centre, Reading Railway Station, the Royal Berkshire Hospital, University of Reading and Reading College. The route has high traffic volumes, high frequency bus services and no existing protected cycling infrastructure. It is identified in the LCWIP as a strategic route and provides cross-boundary connections, with emerging proposals through EATF for the section in Wokingham Borough. The scheme will connect to the Tranche 1 scheme on London Road west of Cemetery Junction, and to NCN 422. There are few reasonably direct alternatives as route options and the highway corridor has width constraints. This limits the scope of feasible options to enhance cycling and walking infrastructure in ways which would not have significant negative impacts on bus service reliability.

The proposal is for a temporary scheme to enable accelerated delivery and to be affordable within potential further EATF allocations. The scheme is intended to be accompanied by full consultation, with a view to making the infrastructure permanent in the future, subject to feedback. The key elements are as follows:

  • Shared bus and cycle lane for inbound (west) movements; and
  • Reallocation of road space – conversion of existing general traffic lane.

This scheme will connect with Wokingham Borough Council’s EATF Tranche 2 proposal for a shared bus lane on the A4, emphasising the potential to make a greater benefit.
A plan has been separately provided illustrating scheme extents and indicative locations of proposed improvements.

What measures are included in your proposed scheme(s)?

  • Park and cycle/stride/scooter facilities
  • Provision for monitoring and evaluation of schemes
  • Other (please specify

Provision of a shared bus and cycle facility, which links to existing infrastructure and similar facilities being delivered through Tranche 1.

For corridor schemes, please provide the route length in miles
0.41 miles

For area-wide schemes, please provide the number of units proposed
Not applicable

Scheme 5

Scheme name
Forbury Road/Vastern Road (Watlington Street – Reading Bridge) – Priority 5

Total scheme cost (£)
£960,000

Please provide a clear description of the scheme

Forbury Road and Vastern Road are multi-lane dual carriageways with high traffic volumes and traffic speeds, and with sections without off-carriageway cycling infrastructure. Identified as an orbital cycling route in Reading’s LCWIP. The corridor provides connections to the wider cycle network (including National Cycle Network routes).

The proposal is for a temporary scheme to enable accelerated delivery and to be affordable within potential further EATF allocations. The scheme is intended to be accompanied by full consultation, with a view to making the infrastructure permanent in the future, subject to feedback. The key elements are as follows:

  • Two-way cycleway, with light segregation from motor traffic using wands;
  • Road space reallocation removing a general traffic lane to achieve the scheme;
  • Junction improvements at four roundabouts and one signal junction to improve crossings for cyclists and pedestrians and reduce conflict between these user groups; and
  • One priority side road crossing, to enhance safety for cyclists and pedestrians

A plan has been separately provided illustrating scheme extents and indicative locations of proposed improvements.

In addition, we have developed a concept scheme for a permanent, fully segregated cycleway with kerb separation in this location. This has been estimated to cost approximately £1.8m by external consultants.

What measures are included in your proposed scheme(s)?

  • New segregated cycleway (permanent)
  • New segregated cycleway (temporary)
  • Installing segregation to make an existing cycle route safer
  • Provision of secure cycle parking facilities
  • Provision for monitoring and evaluation of schemes
  • Other (please specify):

Pedestrian improvements e.g. reduced cycle usage on existing shared paths, junction treatment works,raised tables, revised signal phasing and other accessibility enhancements.

For corridor schemes, please provide the route length in miles
0.57 miles


For area-wide schemes, please provide the number of units proposed
Not applicable

Finance case

Total DfT funding sought (£)

  • £1,179,000 (core schemes)
  • £2,830,000 (additional schemes – individual scheme costs listed below)
  • Bath Road – £430,000
  • Shinfield Road – £1,100,000
  • London Road – £240,000
  • Forbury Road – £960,000
  • School Streets and Complementary Measures Package – £100,000 (Revenue)

Total DfT capital funding sought (£)

  • £1,179,000 (core schemes)
  • £2,730,000 (additional schemes – individual scheme costs listed below)
  • Bath Road – £430,000
  • Shinfield Road – £1,100,000
  • London Road – £240,000
  • Forbury Road – £960,000

Total DfT revenue funding sought (£)
£100,000 (additional revenue scheme)

Total local authority contribution, if applicable (£)
£331,000

Management case

When do you expect to commence construction?
Core package (schemes 1 and 2) – 01/12/20, additional scheme package – 31/03/21

Please describe the project review and governance arrangements in place, and any assurance arrangements

We are currently delivering a multi-million pound capital programme of major and minor transport schemes in Reading. Robust governance arrangements are in place to oversee and guide delivery of this programme including a Transport Capital Projects Programme Board attended by senior Council officers, and a Working Group of the key scheme project managers which reports to the Board. Scheme progress and approval for key decisions (including scheme and spend approval) for individual schemes will subsequently be sought from the relevant Council Committee meeting attended by key elected Members.

Delivery of the EATF Tranche 1 schemes is being overseen through this process and this will also be the case for EATF Tranche 2 schemes.

As part of the development and delivery of these schemes, each will undergo a Stage 1 and 2 Road Safety Audit (RSA) as part of the design process, followed by a Stage 3 RSA carried out on completion of the scheme.

An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) will also be undertaken on all schemes to ensure they represent inclusive design and do not discriminate against any user group. Initially a scoping exercise will be undertaken to determine the need for a detailed EqIA to be carried out.

Please indicate what community engagement will be undertaken as part of the scheme development and that stakeholders have been consulted on matters such as accessibility issues, impacts on local businesses, freight deliveries and bus and taxi operators

Scheme proposals have been selected from our Local Transport Plan and Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans. These strategies have been developed through extensive consultation and engagement with key consultees including our local Members of Parliament, Councillors, local groups including Sustrans and Reading Cycle Campaign, the University of Reading, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, neighbouring local authorities, council user groups including the Older Person’s and Access & Disabilities Working Groups, and local residents.

Scheme concept designs have been developed with a focus on the EATF objectives. Elected Members have been fully engaged in the preparation of schemes submitted as part of EATF Tranche 1 and 2 and feedback from members of the public through websites such as widenmypath.com has been used to inform the selection of schemes and development of concept schemes. A dedicated page on the Council website has been created and press releases issued to keep residents well informed of progress with the schemes being implemented through Tranche 1, and further such communications will continue relating to Tranche 2 scheme delivery. This will include utilising social media platforms to provide two-way dialogue with members of the public, as cyclists and pedestrians, to shape issues and opportunities that may influence more detailed scheme development.

In developing these schemes consultation will take place with key stakeholders, including, but not limited to: emergency services, Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, neighbouring local authorities, local bus and taxi operators, Royal Berkshire Hospital, University of Reading, local businesses, vulnerable user groups, schools and resident associations/local community groups. We are mindful of the balance required to ensure the active travel scheme package is not detrimental to existing bus services and should incorporate benefits to bus services and their users where possible. The scheme package has been developed with this in mind and local bus operators and delivery partners will be consulted further throughout the development of the schemes.

Our scheme proposals are for temporary schemes with light segregation to expedite delivery timescales and due to affordability considerations. Our intention is to make these schemes permanent in the future, subject to funding and feedback from informal and formal consultation which will be undertaken prior to any schemes being made permanent.

Please state which design standards have been followed in developing your scheme(s)

  • The following design standards have been followed in developing our schemes:
  • London Cycle Design Standards
  • Local Transport Note 1/20

Cyclist and pedestrian segregation from motor traffic will be delivered throughout our scheme package, achieved through the meaningful reallocation of road space, and cycle track geometry and widths that will provide a high standard of facility. Sections of road space have been reallocated from motor traffic to cyclists. Our scheme package reflects core design principles by presenting scheme that provide coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive facilities. The scheme package is designed to be inclusive of all ages, abilities and designs of cycle. The scheme designs provide a consistently high standard of cyclist and pedestrian safety using segregated provision where possible, as recommended by LTN 1/20.

Consultancy spend should be limited and where needed, existing framework contractors should be used. Are you intending to use consultants?
Yes

If yes, please provide details
We intend to use a limited amount of input from existing framework consultants to support internal council staff in scheme delivery. This additional resource will support efficient scheme development and delivery in the current financial year.

Commercial case

Is the authority ready to commence work and, if applicable, are contractors/procurement/delivery partners in place?
Yes

Please provide details

We are ready to commence work as soon as the level of funding has been confirmed, with delivery partners and contractors already secured and in place to support scheme development and delivery.

Detailed design for the schemes will be undertaken by existing framework consultants. Road Safety Auditors will be briefed on the schemes and involved in the preliminary design stage. Our Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) will undertake the majority of scheme construction works, with existing sub-contractors to be used as required including local lining and signage companies.

An indicative programme for scheme development and delivery has been prepared with delivery of the core schemes within the current financial year.

Monitoring and evaluation

Has monitoring and evaluation been considered for all scheme(s)?
Yes

Please provide details

We will prepare and implement a monitoring and evaluation plan for our proposed scheme package. This will feed into our annual Local Transport Plan evaluation and monitoring programme and will be consistent with the Department’s guidance on monitoring and evaluation for informing the EATF evaluation programme. The approach to scheme monitoring will include automatic cycle counters installed for monitoring purposes (including Tranche 1 schemes) to determine the benefit of those schemes which will then be used as an evidence base for future LCWIP schemes.
Feedback will be sought from existing user groups, local residents and businesses through the opportunity to participate in an online evaluation of these schemes, which will help identify how users are specifically benefiting from the schemes implemented, and whether any further improvements are required.

We would be pleased to share count data and user feedback with the Department if requested and participate in any future EATF programme evaluations.

Using the monitoring and evaluation guidance provided, please outline briefly how you will monitor and evaluate each permanent scheme costing at least £2m.
Not applicable