Transport link plan on display
by Natalie Vincent Thu 20 September 2018, 10:10 am
Residents and businesses attended a public exhibition proposing improvements to a planned bus, pedestrian and cycle route between east Reading and the town centre.
Revised design options for the East Reading Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) scheme were showcased on Tuesday at Wokingham Waterside Centre, following the refusal of planning permission by Wokingham Borough Council in the summer, due to concerns about potential environmental damage. Reading's planning committee had previously approved the plans.
The MRT would provide a direct public transport, walking and cycle link between Reading town centre and Thames Valley Business Park, the new Thames Valley Park and Ride and a network of other park and ride sites in Wokingham, as well as local services from Woodley, Wokingham and Bracknell.
The exhibition took place advance of the normal statutory planning consultation process, which will open this winter when a revised planning application will be submitted to both councils.
Tony Page, Reading Council's lead member for strategic environment, planning and transport, said: "With many thousands of new homes planned in the Wokingham and Bracknell areas over the next few years, alongside developments in Reading town centre, we simply cannot ignore the huge impact it will have on a limited road network.
"Reading's road network is already at capacity. The only solution is to offer people realistic, easy and sustainable travel options which will help to manage future demands on our roads, including managing levels of congestion and air quality, which we know are major issues in Reading."
The transport link is intended for buses, pedestrians and cyclists only, and could also be used for possible future light rail, driverless pods, or other schemes as technology evolves.