Sunday, 9 March 2008

Residents Called To Respond To Oxford Road Consultation

Dear All,
Please forward to all those that you can. The closing of the Cow Lane will have a major impact on visits to Cardiff Road, Beresford Road, Rivermead, Rock Festival site, Reading Station, and the riverside.

The current option of chicaning up to Hodmore lane to get between Cardiff Road and Beresford Road is far too far for some walkers. PLEASE NOTE DATE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS

Please say something about sustainable transport in your response, they don't seem to care about cycle paths and parking, bus and train fares. Building new roads will not reduce traffic, they generate more. They are also happy to build on allotments, when they could move their new road a short distance and save it.

Reading Borough Council Press Release

A major review of one of Reading's most important and busy transport corridors is on the horizon - and local residents, traders and road users are being urged to help shape the improvement plans.

The area in and around the Reading's Oxford Road is a key gateway from the west into central Reading, as well as a major shopping destination. With car drivers, buses, lorries, parked vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians all vying for limited road space, delays are a daily occurrence.

The variety of road users and purposes also creates movement conflicts, increasing the likelihood of accidents or making accessing local services and businesses less convenient.

Congestion along the Oxford Road is partially caused by bottlenecks created by the narrow and out-dated Cow Lane bridges. However the Reading Station project includes proposals to shut the northern Cow Lane bridge and replace this access with a new road to the north of the railway line, between Scours Lane and Cow Lane.

Currently known as the `Oxford Road Relief Road,' when complete it would create an alternative route for commercial and other traffic without a local destination and provide the opportunity to relieve congestion and delays along the Oxford Road, creating a better and safer local environment for residents and businesses alike.

The next step is to look at what residents, traders and organisations want for their neighbourhood. Leaflets and questionnaires will be distributed to all addresses in the area - around 12,000 properties. The questionnaires should be filled out and freeposted back by 31 March 2008. Information leaflets and questionnaires can also be accessed via the Council's website
at and click on Transport Strategy, and will be available from the Civic Centre, Battle Library and some local shops.

There will also be three public exhibitions where people can come in person to find out more about the possibilities for improvements and talk with Council officers about the issues they have travelling on Oxford Road. Local Ward Members have also been invited to attend, as have Network Rail who will be available to listen to comments and opinions.

Tom Crisp, Lead Councillor for Transport and Planning at Reading Borough Council, said: "The Oxford Road Relief Road gives the Council a great opportunity to address transport and traffic problems on Oxford Road. We hope that local residents, businesses and other organisations will take the time to tell us how they think we should take advantage of this opportunity."

Reading Borough Council's Local Transport Plan for 2006-11 included seven Area Action Plans aimed at improving safety, environment, accessibility and reducing congestion. The Oxford Road falls in the Western Area Action Plan.

A number of surveys have already been carried out by the Borough Council including traffic counts, pedestrian flow and crossing surveys. Existing information has also been analysed, including bus delay and accident records.

The analysis shows that sections of the Oxford Road are already at or near capacity and over 15% of vehicles using the road were light and heavy goods vehicles. However, overall, more people travel the route by bus than by private vehicle, with up to 18 buses an hour serving Oxford Road, including the popular Route 17, which will soon operate 24/7.

Analysis also shows that over half of the eastbound trips used the length of the Oxford Road between Norcot roundabout and the IDR or further, indicating that these are trips for which the proposed `Oxford Road Relief Road' may be a viable alternative route, particularly in the case of lorries.

Residents and businesses should now look out for the information leaflets / questionnaires dropping on their doormats. The closing date of the consultation is Monday, 31st March 2008. Results will be reviewed and recommendations presented to the Borough Council's Cabinet later in the

Exhibitions will take place at the following venues on the following days:

- Wednesday, 12 March 2008, Bridge Hall (Oxford Road near Reading West Station), 11am to 5pm

- Monday, 17 March 2008, Battle Library, 2pm to 8pm

- Tuesday, 18 March 2008, St Mary Magdalen Church Hall (Rodway Road off
Oxford Road by Kentwood Hill), 1pm to 7pm

Notes for Editors:

Reading Borough council Press Releases can be found online at

Media Contact: Oscar Mortali
Tel: 0118 939 0301

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