The last Traffic Management Sub-Committee (TMSC) took place on 7th March and the Cycle Forum meeting took place on 19th March.
At the Forum many issues were raised including: Town Centre signing, Vastern Road roundabout, the NCN422 through Reading, and a few more!
Traffic Management Sub-Committee The TMSC took place on 7th March with the most relevant item for cycling being the impending Local Transport Plan (LTP) and the associated Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).
These documents are being prepared by the Council for submission to Government for scheme funding, so our input to them over the next few months is important.
The RCC meetings co-ordinated our input to these bids, including sending selected representatives to a special meeting on 16th May.
Air quality is poor in central Caversham, Oxford Road and the IDR. Measures to help improve these are likely to be targeted in the bids.
Housing growth in the area around Reading is predicted to rise considerably over the next few years, with South Oxfordshire expected to be growing more than Reading.
Will transport infrastructure be provided? The lack of enforcement of 20mph limits was raised by residents. This is a low Police priority, so measures to slow vehicles other than just signing will be beneficial.
Town Centre Signing
Yet again no action has taken place on the simple and important cycle signing for the town centre area.
For three years we have been requesting the legally necessary signing of cycle routes, but with no signs provided. This is despite lists of sign type and locations being provided by RCC.
Not only do cyclists not know where they can cycle, but pedestrians get cross when cyclists are using routes shown on the maps. Again (in March) RBC say they will take action, but when?
Town Centre Cycle Routes
No action has been taken on these proposed routes, so including them in our requests for the LCWIP seems the only hope.
East Reading Mass Rapid Transit
The shelving of this controversial scheme has unfortunately not resulted in the £20m funds being transferred to any cycling schemes, despite the MRT apparently being partly for cyclists.
Maybe the cycling and walking parts of the bid were only to try to justify the bus scheme, otherwise why not fund other cycle schemes in the area?
RCC had requested that some funding be made for cycling schemes, but was told it had all been reallocated elsewhere.
Vastern Road Roundabout
The spiral markings are to be implemented shortly following their approval at the January TMSC. However, no other improvements are being considered or planned despite strong requests from RCC.
This is unfortunate, as far more changes need to be made to make this roundabout satisfactory for cyclists and other users. How many more injuries are needed here to make the Council take the issue seriously?
Following the request by RCC, RBC are considering the shared use of the subway by cyclists. A report should be available before the next meeting.
Works to complete Berkeley Avenue and Wokingham Road sections of the NCN422 are planned to take place from April for 3 to 4 months.
The segregated cycle route was completed during April. However, RCC complained about the inadequate crossings to Salisbury Road in the west and Cardiff Road and Richfield Avenue to the east.
RBC stated that these could be considered at a later date as possible improvements.
Apparently, the current ReadyBike provider has quit and other sponsors are being sought.
John Lee, RBC Campaigner for RCC