The cycle and pedestrian bridge over the Thames near Reading Station, or Christchurch Bridge to give it its official title, was opened in 2015. Although our plea for it to be segregated was ignored, the bridge has undoubtedly been a welcome addition to Reading’s transport infrastructure.
The Council’s longer-term strategy for the bridge was to improve its southern access when the SSE site between the river and Vastern Road was eventually redeveloped. Those that use the bridge will know that the current access from Vastern Road is narrow and labyrinthine.
Redevelopment of the SSE site is now being planned by Berkeley Homes. As things stand this could potentially miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a quality southern access route to the bridge for cyclists.
Berkeley’s proposal for blocks of flats are shown on their scheme website, www.vasternroad.co.uk, though by the time you are reading this the plans may have been submitted for planning approval.
Access to Christchurch Bridge is proposed to be made via two 180º switchbacks, one of which forms the entrance to a proposed café. Obviously they have not thought about this as a cycle route, which will only get more and more popular as we move to being a carbon-neutral town in the next ten years.
Feedback to Berkeley Homes can be made via www.vasternroad.co.uk.