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A329 London Road cycle route - Opportunity missed

November 26, 2020 10:21 PM
By Paul Fishwick
On 12th November Wokingham Borough Council announced the completion of the A329 London Road cycle route, stating "The new off-road cycleway will provide a link for cyclists from the Coppid Beech/A329M roundabout into the town centre." In reality, however, the off road route (a shared footway and cycleway) ends at a point between Rances Lane and Binfield Road (see photo), just over 1 KM short of the town centre.
National cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman sets the benchmark for an acceptable route as whether you would allow a 12-year-old to use it on their own. Would you allow a child to cycle on the London Road from this point into the town centre?
The news release also stated, "Completion of work on London Road means the council has completed its parts of the National Cycle Route 422 and one seamless route through Berkshire." It is quite clear that the route has not been completed - there are similar gaps in the route west of the town centre and beyond and it is certainly not seamless.
There has been an opportunity missed here by the Wokingham Borough Council. There is sufficient space to have created a segregated cycle route and leaving the existing footway for pedestrians. That would have meant a much higher standard and safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The images below show the London Road, and an example of a similar scheme is shown in the photo below, on a 'A' class road and constructed 12 years ago.
For more information, contact Councillor Paul Fishwick, Liberal Democrat lead for Highways and Transport
A better way