Taken from Wokingham Borough News Centre
Residents are invited to give their views on the second stage of a proposed new cycling and walking link between Wokingham town centre and Winnersh, this time covering a 270m section of the A329 Reading Road from Emmbrook Road to Mill Close.
A survey is open until Thursday, 21 December on this part of the route, which the council hopes to build along a 1.6-mile (2.5km) stretch of the A329 if external funding is available. This would support its ongoing efforts to encourage sustainable travel and address the climate emergency.
This second phase, incorporating the Woosehill Spine Road junction, could include the installation of toucan crossings to help pedestrians and cyclists to cross the roundabout safely and more conveniently, without needing to use the existing subway.
We want your views on plans for a safer cycling 🚴 and walking 🚶 route from Winnersh to Wokingham town, with improvements at Woosehill roundabout.
Find out more 🧐 and reply before 21 December at https://t.co/hj4RMluTfS
Funded 💰 by the Government’s Active Travel Fund. pic.twitter.com/y9ZOMkVZ5M
— Wokingham Borough Council (@WokinghamBC) November 24, 2023
Design work is being paid for through the Government’s Active Travel Fund. Construction, which is subject to residents’ views, would be funded by further external grants and contributions from housing developers. No funding is confirmed yet, but the council is looking for opportunities.
A safer, greener link between key destinations
The overall goal is for a better, safer cycling and walking route along both sides of the A329 between Sadler’s Lane at Winnersh, near the M4 overbridge and petrol station, and the western end of Broad Street in Wokingham town centre.
It would have a one-way cycle track, separated from both the road and the pavement, plus safer junctions at side roads with raised crossings to help pedestrians and give cyclists priority along with new toucan crossings. Bus stops would also be separated from cycle traffic.
The A329 would remain two-way for motor traffic, but the speed limit would be reduced from 40mph to 30mph to make it safer for everyone.
The scheme is going forward with Wokingham Town Council and Winnersh Parish Council’s guidance and will help meet the goals of the council’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).
This long-term, high-level vision strategy was extensively consulted on, then adopted in March 2023.
Listening to the community at all stages
Earlier this autumn, residents’ views were sought on the first phase between Sadler’s Lane and Emmbrook Road. A total of 486 people responded, mostly those living near the area, including 279 (57.4 per cent) expressing support and 52 people (10.7 per cent) either neutral or uncertain.
Some 74 people either expressed concern about the design or suggested amendments, and these comments will be passed to the designer for consideration in the next stages.
Cllr Paul Fishwick, executive member for active travel, transport and highways, said: “We’re pleased that so many people gave their views on the first phase of this project and hope this will continue.
“Given that most short commutes under 5km (three miles) are made by car, we need to provide people with a sustainable alternative and want to be sure our proposal will be helpful.
“We know from consulting on the LCWIP that there are concerns about personal safety and traffic speeds in this area, so it’s important to remove any barriers that deter people from travelling in a far healthier and less polluting way.
“This is just one of many proposals to reduce air pollution and lower carbon emissions to meet our climate commitments, and we promise to keep consulting our residents as these move forward.”
What’s set to happen next
There will be further consultation on the remaining two phases, with the third continuing eastwards until just before Station Approach and the fourth ending at the western end of Broad Street.
This will be carried out as soon as possible, and all comments will be considered before the designs are finalised and the next steps decided.