Thursday, 4 September 2008

Reading University wants to build a new road

Theres a facebook group at
You can take action by following the advice below.

The Reading University Vice-Chancellor has written about the Whiteknights development plan, informing us of the results of the consultation and the application that the university has made to Wokingham Borough Council to build new roads on the campus. Anyone can submit a comment to the Council on the plan, but the deadline is 8th September, that is next Monday. Comments should cite the application number F/2008/1758 and may be sent to Issues may include noise and disturbance resulting from the proposed development, design and layout, conservation of open land and impact on the appearance of the area.

In his email to us the VC specifically mentions the cross-campus route which would cross the lake at the site of the current Friends' Bridge. This road would be single lane (2 m wide) with passing-places and a footpath, and for "essential traffic only". The plan is at:

The VC does not mention in his email that the application also proposes to complete a ring-road around the centre of the campus, by building a road in front of the Students' Union, Blue Room and Park House (SCR). This road would be two-lane, with a footpath, a lay-by and two other footpaths crossing the area, all to be built across the lawn at the top of the field. The traffic on this road will not be restricted. Personally, I consider building a road there to be vandalism of an attractive part of the campus. The plan is at:

The digest of comments to the consultation is generally thorough and careful. It can be read at:

On the "internal movement and parking strategy" there were 105 responses. The report says (3.1.2), "About two-thirds of the comments were negative and related to concerns that additional roads will diminish the quality of the environment. Specific reference was made to completing the ring around the Students' Union and Blue Room." Despite the specific objection, the university makes no specific argument in response for why this link is needed. The university proposes to build it anyway, although there is a majority against it, and no good reason advanced in favour of it.

On the cross-campus link, the report says (4.1.2-3) about 60% were opposed, on the grounds of impact on the tranquillity of the campus and wildlife, that it is unnecessary, that it will become a rat-run and encourage car-use. In arguing for the road, the university repeats its earlier astonishing statement that 180 vehicles a day will use it.

Please email Wokingham Borough Council to object to these proposals:

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