The Department for Transport has awarded Wokingham Borough Council £2.95 million to improve cycling and walking facilities in the borough as part of its Active Travel Fund.
Having received over £575,000 when the programme was first announced in 2021, the council asked residents for their views on three potential options, which included a Woodley to Reading scheme and a Wokingham town centre scheme. Based on feedback from the consultation, the council chose the Woodley to Reading option and worked up more detailed proposals to put to residents for their views.
The council is trying to encourage active travel by providing new cycling and walking facilities that are safe, attractive and inclusive for all. It wants to give residents better choices, so more journeys can be made on foot, or by bicycle.
A survey earlier this year asked for views on the detailed designs. The feedback was mixed, but with strong opposition to parts of the scheme. The council is working on a revised proposal to take back to residents for their views later this year.
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways said: “This is great news for Wokingham borough. The Department for Transport clearly likes what we are trying to do in creating a highway network that puts walking and cycling up on an even footing with cars.
“In 2021, residents told us they want to see segregated cycleways because these would make them feel safer to travel around the area on their bikes, with buggies, wheelchairs and on foot.
“We need to find ways to make it easier to cycle, walk and wheel around our communities – not only is it better for our health, but it reduces congestion and is better for the environment. We want to give our residents choices and people aren’t going to get out of their cars until we give them a safe space to walk and cycle. That is what we are trying to do.”