The first stage of a project to improve cycle and pedestrian routes between Newbury and Reading has been given the go-ahead today (Wednesday 15 November).
The £1.1m scheme aims to make it safer and more enjoyable for cyclists to travel between the two towns. The first phase will see £350,000 spent on improving the stretch from Newbury to Thatcham by:
- Introducing new cycle lanes on the carriageway
- Widening and resurfacing sections of pavement to create a shared space for pedestrians and cyclists
- Removing non-statutory signs and relocating lamp posts, bus shelters and similar to make a clearer route
- Creating wider pedestrian islands to upgrade crossing points and create additional ones suitable for all users.
The scheme is being funded through a £1.1m grant from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
A consultation on the proposal was held earlier this autumn and following feedback from local residents and road users some minor amendments have been made to the scheme. It was formally approved by Councillor Jeanette Clifford, Executive Member for Highways, earlier today.
Speaking about the proposals, Councillor Clifford said:
“These improvements will make it even easier to travel between Newbury, Thatcham and Reading by bike. The journey will be safer and more enjoyable and I hope it will encourage more people to venture out on their bikes. The benefits will not just be enjoyed by cyclists. It’s good for everyone when people get out of their cars and choose to cycle or walk instead.”
The scheme supports Newbury Vision 2026 and its focus on improving cycling participation and the development of cycle paths throughout the area. West Berkshire Council provides information for cyclists – including cycle maps and cycle training opportunities – on its website.
A report on the A4 cycle improvements and which provides more information about the project can be read online: http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=158&MId=4487&Ver=4