WBC Winter Report 2021


Opening of Newbury Station Cycle Hub

Newbury Station Cycle HubThe second Cycle Hub on the north/town side of Newbury Station, between the new car park and the western end of Platform 2, was opened on 7 October, providing 176 spaces. This complements the larger hub (with its total of 230 cycle spaces, comprising 180 spaces under cover and 50 spaces externally) opened in March on the south/Station Road side of the station, giving over 300 cycle spaces in total.

Community FUN Cycle Club

This pilot scheme is aimed at primary school students to complement Bikeability training using money from the DfT Capability Fund. The target age group is 8 to 11-year olds, with the emphasis being on fun but also on core stamina. Taster sessions will take place in January 2022, with a full programme of sessions running every other Saturday, from April through September, at Shaw House, Newbury. If it is successful and funding can be secured it is hoped to expand the scheme to other parts of West Berkshire.

Potential extensions to the Eling Way

Extentions to Eling WaySustrans has prepared two feasibility studies, assessing scope for potential extensions of the existing Eling Way multi-user path, which already connects Hermitage with Hampstead Norreys over the former railway alignment.

The feasibility studies built on earlier valuable work by West Berkshire Spokes and have looked at options for southward extensions from Hermitage towards Newbury and, separately, at the potential for a northward extension from Hampstead Norreys to Compton. The study reports and recommendations are currently being reviewed by WBC’s Network Manager.

Widening Participation Fund

The objective is to make Bikeability more accessible to Special Educational Needs (SEND) students and increase participation in cycle training, as it is recognised that SEND students will need 1:1 training. A bid for £75k has been submitted to enable students at Castle School, Brookfields School and Mary Hare School, plus SEND students attending mainstream schools and potentially others being home-schooled, to access Bikeability training.

A4 London Road/new Lidl, Newbury

Works started on 8 November to prepare for installation of a pre-cast culvert section that will in turn enable construction of a kerb-segregated section of cycle track, with separate footway behind, along the front of the new store building which will be occupied by Lidl. Installation of the culvert using a crane happened on the night of 18-19 November 2021, under an overnight closure of the section of London Road past the BP fuel station.  Overall scheme completion scheduled for January 2022.

A4 Western Avenue (Brummell Road to Waitrose roundabout), Newbury/Speen

The scheme overall has been revised, as there is a need for alterations to Splitter Island opposite Waitrose freight access/Benedict Court/ Microfocus car park exit. This has been overcome and designed out to minimise disruption. The main issue will be with replacement of signalled crossing on Western Avenue east of Old Bath Road junction. The Council are waiting to confirm programme dates with the contractor.

Kennet & Avon Canal Towpath

Several improvements and repairs to the towpath are in the pipeline including a £360k scheme in Newbury between Ham Bridge and Bull’s Lock.

West Berkshire Cycle Forum

The next meeting of the West Berkshire Cycle Forum will be held on Tuesday 18 January. If you wish to raise any matters concerning cycling in West Berkshire email: wbc@readingcyclecampaign.org.uk

Rob Hill
WBC Campaigner for RCC

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