What the East Reading MRT will mean for cyclists
Recently there has been a campaign raging over the East Reading MRT, a bus, cycle and walking route between the station and Thames Valley Park.
Many local people have been protesting vehemently about the destructive impact on their much loved green lung, formed by the Kennet Mouth, the Coal Woodland protected Local Wildlife Site to the west and Broken Brow, behind the Waterside Centre to the east.
One of the selling points the Council makes for it is the cycle provision. You may be forgiven for thinking that there is already a route along the Thames that provides this link, but not everyone looks forward to the technical challenge of trying to ride over the Horse Shoe Bridge, so for those people, it does offer an improvement.
The flyover will only be useable for people coming from Tesco or Thames Valley Park as there will be no access from the Kennet Mouth area onto it.
In some years the tow path to the east of Kennet Mouth gets flooded, so being on an elevated bypass will avoid this.
The plans show that for about one third of the new route the cycle and footway are combined, leading to inevitable conflicts between the two groups.
The worst instance of this is at the foot of the flyover by Tesco, where thrusting young executives speeding down the slope to catch their train will ride straight into a bus stop, where passengers will be getting on and off buses.
The cyclists will then have to cross the MRT and cycle along Napier Road. This is already a poor road for cyclists as it is a relatively narrow two lane road. It will be much worse if the bus traffic along it is as heavy as predicted.
Finally the road opens onto the Vastern Road roundabout beside Reading station. This is already the most dangerous roundabout for cyclists in Reading for accidents. Part of this can be put down to the two existing bus lanes entering the roundabout.
Dramatically increasing the number of buses using the roundabout and adding a third bus lane onto it will do nothing to solve these problems and is likely to increase the number of accidents that occur here.
Visit the layout plan here: https://drive .google.com/open?id=1ZpAXGKKAVyvHanNapqk1SV-s1yMcgUzn and you can object or comment on the Council’s plans.