Reading pedestrians to benefit from new dropped kerbs and

The Council has begun a series of improvements across the borough that will see an additional 35 pedestrian dropped kerb crossing facilities with tactile paving at residential road junctions, and 24 new handrails installed to benefit pedestrians.

The investment totals £480,000 and comes from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which sees developers pay a levy on new development to fund local improvements to infrastructure and facilities, allowing councils to deliver improvements that matter for residents.

Work on the 35 additional dropped kerb crossings began in February. These will make life easier for residents moving around Reading on foot, particularly those with reduced mobility such as wheelchair users, the visually impaired and those pushing prams.

Whilst most new steps on the public highway created in Reading have handrails fitted as a safety standard, the 24 handrails being fitted as part of the scheme will help strengthen safety for anyone using steps that were installed prior to those standards being introduced. Additionally, any broken steps or surfacing issues will also be addressed when the handrail installation takes place to ensure a joined-up raft of improvement measures. This is due to start shortly.

The additional investment complements work already being carried out by the Council’s in-house Highways and Drainage Operations team as part of the residential pavements / footway investment installing dropped kerb pedestrian crossings for residents outside their homes to enhance access. So far over 66 such dropped crossings have been created, and the additional CIL funding will allow a much wider roll out to improve access on the public highway.

“The Council is investing significantly in road and transport improvements for easier travel by car, public transport or bike, but we’re equally interested in ensuring that crossing Reading on foot becomes a go-to option for residents. Walking is the best environmental choice we can make and brings with it important health benefits too. We are eager to ensure that our foot travel routes are more attractive and easier to access.

"Many of our public highways were built at a time when pedestrian access across roads was not considered and investing in dropped kerb crossings will improve foot travel safety through Reading for our residents. Making sure people can easily navigate steps is also critical and that forms part of the work around the improvements we’re making to resurface many of Reading’s pavements. Now is the perfect time to take that next trip around Reading on foot!”

Karen Rowland, Lead Councillor for Environmental Services and Community Safety

Last updated on 11/03/2024