There are two new cycle routes on the West side of Wokingham.
The first is the next stage of NCN422 between Holt Lane and Simons Lane. This is similar to much of the rest of the Wokingham Borough section, with on-road cycle lanes combined with shared-use pavements, which I believe meets the needs of many people who cycle. The photo below shows the part outside Emmbrook Post Office.
There are several parking spaces, and a clear red area is included to reduce the risk of people cycling in the ‘door zone’ of parked cars. This is an excellent feature which I hope other local Councils will learn from.
The route isn’t perfect; the cycle lanes disappear around some junctions, and the westbound pavement between Oxford Road and Woosehill Spine Road isn’t really wide enough for safe shared-use. However, more cycle routes of this quality across Wokingham would be very welcome.
The second new route is along the new North Wokingham Distributor Road, between Emmbrook and the A321 Twyford Road.
This includes 3.5m wide shared-use pavements on both sides of the road as you can see in the photo below. These are about as good as shared-use can be: wide enough to reduce risks of conflicts between people walking and cycling, and on both sides, but they aren’t perfect.
Junctions are inconsistent; some are clearly marked for those on the road to give way, others have no markings and one has zig-zag barriers on the pavement.
Some of the junctions have a noticeable descent into them, so it is easy to speed up just when you should be slowing down; raised-table crossings would have been better because they would slow people on the road, and people on the pavement.
Above all, it remains to be seen how well this design will work when the houses along it are all built and lived in.
If you hear of any road schemes or planning applications within Wokingham do please get in touch.
RCC had a positive influence on the designs of NCN422 and the North Wokingham Distributor Road and we can only have influence if we hear about new plans during the consultation stages.
Peter Howe, WoBC campaigner for RCC