Plans to build a 250-space park and ride on a key transport route between Wokingham and Bracknell have been submitted.
Wokingham Borough Council has applied for planning permission to build the Coppid Beech park and ride, next to the A329M and near the boundary with Bracknell Forest.
The £3million project will mostly be paid for through Government’s Local Growth Fund from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which will provide £2.4million and the rest will be paid by the council.
Once built the park and ride would help reduce congestion along the A329 into both towns, as well as improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.
The land allocated for the application, which also includes cycle and motorcycle parking spaces and electric car charging points, was previously agreed for this use as part of the Keephatch Gardens development east of Wokingham town centre.
Good for the local economy
The bus services linked to the park and ride would be predominately used for employment trips during weekdays, and leisure trips during weekends, into Wokingham and Bracknell town centres.
It could link up with the existing 3/4/X4 Reading Buses routes from Reading to Bracknell, via Wokingham, and Courtney Buses route 151 between the two towns.
“A new park and ride at Coppid Beech will help us to ease congestion on the A329 London Road in and out of Wokingham town centre,” said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport.
“It helps give residents in the area more sustainable transport options for travelling into Wokingham or Bracknell thanks to the potential to link up with the already high quality bus service in the area.”
Subject to planning permission, construction work on the project is set to start in winter 2020 with completion later in 2021. The council is also working on two other park and ride projects in the borough.
Project at Winnersh Triangle
Winnersh Triangle park and ride, next to Winnersh Triangle train station, is also currently going through the planning application process. The council submitted an application to create decked parking, by adding an extra floor to the existing car park, in April as part of the £5.4million project.
The project has also been supported by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, which is providing more than £4.3million towards it. Again, this will help to reduce congestion by providing sustainable public transport options as well as improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.
The council has outlined eight key action areas as it looks to reduce its carbon footprint following its climate emergency declaration last summer. One of the eight key areas the council is working on is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from transport, with better public transport infrastructure a key part of this.
What they said
Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for climate emergency, added: “Our climate emergency action plan has set ambitious targets to increase use of public transport to help cut our carbon footprint and improve air quality. While this park and ride was conceived before we declared a climate emergency, it provides the kind of infrastructure we need to achieve our targets.”
Alison Webster, CEO of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP added: “We are delighted that a contribution from the LEP’s Local Growth Fund will be able to help ease congestion for commuters and residents in the Bracknell and Wokingham area. This funding supports the additional infrastructure projects being delivered in Berkshire.”
“We’re grateful to Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership for its continued support of our schemes to provide more sustainable transport options for our residents in all parts of the borough, especially as the council continues to work towards its goal of a carbon neutral borough by 2030.” added Cllr Jorgensen.