The Wokingham Paper

Reading East MP pleased Wokingham Borough Council is looking to invest in safe cycle routes for Woodley

Cycle path

ONE OF the borough’s four MPs said he is pleased to see the council is looking to invest in safe cycle routes for Woodley residents.

Matt Rodda, MP for Reading East, which includes Woodley and Earley, has been encouraging Wokingham Borough Council to make a bid for a share of the £2 billion grant from the Department for Transport.

The fund can be used to widen pavements and build cycle lanes to create a safer environment for cycling.

In the first round of funding announced last week, Reading Borough Council was granted £221,250, 75% of its funding bid, and Wokingham Borough Council was granted £76,000, half of its bid.

Responding to the funding allocation, a spokesperson for Wokingham Borough Council said: “We were disappointed to not receive the full amount.

“The funding was for Emergency Active Travel which is not restricted to cycling, and our work in Wokingham town centre has enabled much improved access for pedestrians and cyclists.

“We understand from the Department for Transport that other authorities produced what, in their view, were stronger bids and so they elected to reallocate funding to these schemes.

“We are continuing to develop schemes for the second tranche of funding and will be liaising with
the Department for Transport to try to ensure we receive the full amount.”

Mr Rodda, who is also the shadow minister for local transport, hopes to see the funding used to improve cycling connections between Wokingham and Reading boroughs to help commuters, and build better cycle routes to Woodley town centre.

Leader of Wokingham Borough Council, Cllr John Halsall, said: “Matt Rodda is quite excited about his shadow brief.

“We met on Monday and he wants to help support us apply for grants to improve cycling in the borough.

“As a borough council, we’ve been doing this for a long time, there are lots of cycle routes being created. We intend to work with him to extend the cycle routes from Reading to Wokingham.”

Mr Rodda said: “I’m pleased that Wokingham Borough Council is now looking at investing in cycling in Woodley town centre.

“It’s a really important idea, and I’m pleased they listened to the points I raised.

“If done well, this could really benefit families wanting to cycle shorter, local journeys to the shops, parks or Bulmershe Leisure Centre.

Research from science journal, British Social Attitudes found that 63% of people take the car for a journey of less than two miles at least once a week.

And Mr Rodda thinks one of the biggest deterrents to cycling is the fear of traffic.

“It’s about helping people feel safe to cycle, widening pavements and creating a dedicated cycle path,” he said.

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Adrian Betteridge

“our work in Wokingham town centre has enabled much improved access for pedestrians and cyclists”. Could someone explain where – I cannot currently find a single safe cycling route into the town centre that doesn’t involve competing with cars, pedestrians or both.

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