Plans are being drawn up to set out the walking and cycling network in Wokingham Borough.
The council is developing its Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) to determine where best to focus investment to support active travel in the area.
To date the council has held a series of stakeholder workshops with local authority officers and local active travel interest groups, and a four-week public consultation exercise took place in the spring with almost 1,000 respondents participating.
The majority of these are living within the borough but there were also people who travel into the borough for school, work or leisure. Respondents provided comments on a map to showcase their suggestions and ideas.
Valuable information and ideas were received on a broad range of topics.
Making the right connections
These ranged from where strategic cycle route connections should be made between settlements, to where footway and crossing improvements are needed to improve connections between where people live and places they wish to access.
Multiple areas where there are currently barriers to walking and cycling were highlighted, including around railway lines, the M4 and the River Loddon.
Crossing points at key locations, including Barkham Road, Reading Road and the A4, were also flagged up by respondents as important.
Desire for segregation
There was also a clear desire from the respondents to see more segregated cycleways, which would help them feel safe to cycle in parts of the borough. This can be seen in the Active Travel Route plans proposed to link Woodley to Reading.
Information from these early workshops, and the public consultation, has since been used to develop draft network plans for walking and cycling infrastructure in Wokingham Borough.
These plans will be shown to key stakeholders, such as cycling clubs, active travel groups and town/parish councils this summer, to allow routes to be refined and audited. Public consultation on the plan for the future will come forward later this year.
Leaning on local knowledge
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, said: “Thank you to the hundreds of residents who put forward suggestions as part of our early engagement process.
“I have enjoyed speaking to many residents about their suggestions and cycling local roads and cycleways experiencing issues first-hand. It’s vital we lean on local knowledge across the borough to make walking and cycling easier, there is no substitute for hands on experience.
“In the years ahead we want to bring forward and build the active travel infrastructure we all want to see, helping to link up the borough. This will help us towards our goal to provide more viable alternatives, enabling people to choose to walk or cycle, reducing car use where possible and cut carbon emissions.
“Network maps and ideas for parts of the borough are now being looked at and we look forward to sharing these residents later this year.”
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