In 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 a number of ‘Tranches’.
The initial Tranche 1 fund was allocated to local authorities in May 2020 to implement temporary schemes at short notice to promote active travel during the initial stages of the pandemic. Following this is in 2021 funding was awarded Tranche 2 permanent scheme and in 2022 funding has been awarded for Tranche 3 schemes.
Reading Borough Council has been awarded funding for the following schemes:
Following the implementation of our Tranche 1 schemes and in line with the Active Travel Fund Programme, an engagement exercise on four future concept schemes ran from 24th February 2021 to 23rd April 2021. The four schemes were:
Here is a link to our Active Travel Scheme Engagement Exercise (Phase 1) site with further details on each scheme.
The Council received 928 responses from residents, businesses and organisations as part of the initial engagement exercise.
For a detailed summary of responses received, including an analysis per question please see Appendix B.
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;
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;
The Shinfield Road scheme was thus the best supported and least opposed scheme followed by the Bath Road / Castle Hill Scheme.
Therefore for Reading’s Tranche 2 scheme the recommendation to progress the Shinfield Road scheme was approved at the Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee on 30th June 2021. The Bath Road / Castle Hill scheme would be highest priority for future funding allocation.