Construction of a new cycleway in and out of Wokingham town centre will begin later this month.
Work on London Road, linking the centre of town with the Coppid Beech roundabout / A329M interchange, starts on May 25.
It follows previous extensive work on the A329 through the borough to encourage residents to use more sustainable ways of getting around.
The aim is not only to save residents money and improve their health, but also to help reduce congestion and improve air quality.
Providing residents with the infrastructure to make more sustainable transport choices means is also vital in the council's efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
This will be completed in 11 phases, starting from Rances Lane, working towards Coppid Beech roundabout and then back up towards St Crispin’s School.
It will take place on the footpath/cycleway alongside the road into Wokingham first, before switching over to the footpath/cycleway alongside the road out of town.
The work will see part of the road taken to create a wider footpath/cycleway meaning both can use the area safely at the same time.
“Providing cycling infrastructure in key locations is one way to encourage residents to get out of their cars and choose more sustainable transport options like bikes,” said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport.
“More and more of our residents are enjoying cycle, so we want to be able to provide the infrastructure for them to do this easily, as families. By having cycleways like this one along the A329, providing a seamless route into Wokingham town centre, means our residents will be able to ride easily between their homes, shops and other key locations.”
Throughout the project the council will work to keep disruption to a minimum.
For most of the project the central islands and hatched areas along London Road will be removed so traffic can flow both ways easily.
By doing this we remove the need for lane closures or temporary traffic lights, as far as possible, meaning the new cycleway can be constructed while creating as little congestion as possible.
Work will begin under temporary lights until 22 June when the islands are removed.
The construction follows the completion of work between Aspen Place and Station Approach, in Wokingham, including major work on the kerbs and re-aligning the carriageway.
This was the most recent phase of the works and took place in 2017. It follows previous phases of the work between the Three Tuns, in Earley, and just beyond Winnersh Crossroads between 2014 and 2016.
Once it is completed, the new route links Newbury, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell and Ascot – forming a new National Cycle Route (NCN422).
It will fulfil Wokingham Borough Council’s commitment to provide a portion of the new national cycle route between Reading and Windsor Great Park.
The whole project received significant funding support from the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
Cllr Jorgensen added: “We’d like to thank our residents for their patience while we carry out this construction work. We are doing our best to keep disruption to a minimum alongside our contractor. I can’t wait to see residents making the most of the new part of the A329 cycleway later this year.”
Works will conform to Government and construction industry guidance on social distancing due to COVID-19.
Residents who live in the area have received letters in advance of the work to let them know what’s happening. The works will also include resurfacing of the road, at the end of the programme, which will involve some overnight closures of the road – this is expected to be in late summer/early autumn.