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Funding confirmed for £5.7m Newbury to Windsor cycle path

West Berkshire Council to invest £100,000 government grant in scheme

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632


FUNDING for a new £5.7m cycle path linking Newbury to Windsor has been confirmed.

West Berkshire Council will be investing a £100,000 grant from the Department for Transport into the scheme, while Wokingham Borough Council has committed £1.2m and Reading has put in £500,000.

Three quarters of the cost will be picked up by the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The route follows the A4/A329 corridor between Newbury and Ascot and aims to improve cycling connectivity between Berkshire’s leisure, residential, commercial and employment centres.

It will also act as a link to attractions in the area, serving popular visitor destinations such as Legoland and Windsor Great Park.

A transport business case submitted by WSP in 2015, says the route will provide a coherent east-west cycle link between Newbury and Windsor and improve journey times, reliability and journey quality for cyclists.

It adds that it will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians by improving cycling infrastructure and connectivity and that extensive work has been undertaken to ensure the mechanisms for delivering the scheme are in place.

At a West Berkshire Council meeting last week, Ian Waters asked for confirmation of how the scheme will be funded.

He also asked for reassurances that none of the costs of construction or maintenance will be picked up by West Berkshire residents.

The council’s executive member for highways and transport, Jeanette Clifford, replied: “Thank you for drawing attention to this fantastic pan-Berkshire scheme.

“It is a cycle route starting here at Newbury, linking Theale, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell and ending at Legoland from where there are other routes to Windsor.

“We see it being used for commuters and leisure seekers, taking people out of their cars and on to their bikes, getting fitter, happier – and it will be good for the environment too.

“Something like this can’t happen without investment, but we in West Berkshire are getting a very good deal.”

She added: “Our share in West Berkshire is £100,000 – about two per cent of the total.

“But this bill is not going to be picked up by West Berkshire council tax payers. It will be covered by Department for Transport money delegated to us.

“You’re right, the route will have to be maintained, but in West Berkshire the route largely follows the A4 so we will be maintaining that anyway.

“There will be extra lines and signs, but we will be smart about how we maintain them and doing it efficiently.

“People want to cycle, we want them to cycle. I presume you want people to be able to cycle. This route will make it easier and it is good value for West Berkshire.”

As part of the project, on-road cycle lane markings and direction signage will need to be put in place between Thatcham and Theale

According to WSP, almost 250,000 residents can access the route within a five-minute cycle of their home.

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Article comments

  • _rob_

    09/03/2017 - 20:08

    Sounds fantastic. I hope it will be a 'cycle road' and not a 'cycle path', ie having to giveway at every road junction and stop for pedestrians and dog walkers will render it useless, just like those around Thatcham. The country needs to be covered in these to fight back against rising pollution and save the planet for (near) future generations.


  • ChrisW

    09/03/2017 - 19:07

    So we can close down the public license toilets or limit access to the public dump but can spend pretty much £6mill on a cycle path?


    • maternalbuzzin

      14/03/2017 - 22:10

      Please read the article. West Berkshire is putting in £100.000 not £6mill. A small price to pay for the safety of cyclists, wouldn't you agree?


  • Custos planeta

    09/03/2017 - 19:07

    Good to see some money spent on something that doesn't benefit motorists for once....absolutely brilliant idea and peanuts compared with what is spent on roads and arrogant drivers with their incorrect assumption that their "road tax" pays for roads...and that they are for them and only them.


    • NWN_reader

      09/03/2017 - 19:07

      Cyclists won't use it, they'll just use the road next to it like they do between Aldermaston village and Aldermaston Wharf. If they do build it they should make it illegal for cyclists to use the road next to it.


  • EugeneStryker

    09/03/2017 - 11:11

    I am passionately pro-cycling and advocate utility cycling. I cycle to work every day. However, I find it baffling why these projects get the green light. Also, can anyone tell me where there is currently good cycling infrastructure that would give anyone any confidence that this project won't be a waste of time and money. Installing good quality segregated cycle lanes incrementally is better than a large grand plan. I would start by joining Newbury and Thatcham with segregated cycle lanes (not lines on pavements) in both directions with priority at junctions going to cyclists.


    • NewburyLad

      09/03/2017 - 13:01

      If only cyclists, and just cyclists, would pay for their own cycle-lanes. And then USE them and stay off the roads. But no, they expect everyone else to pay for them, and then they just ignore them and use the roads anyway.


      • EugeneStryker

        10/03/2017 - 10:10

        NewburyLad, motoring costs (road building & externalities such as population, incidents, accidents etc etc) come in at about £57.7bn, but motoring tax receipts (VED, fuel duty etc etc) amounts to about £48.1bn, so motorists are subsidised to drive to the tune of £9.6bn a year. As a motorist, you really don't want to advocate having to pay for all of your own costs and if you had any sense you would advocate good cycling infrastructure (not the painted line, glass strewn, stop every 5 metres, goes nowhere we get now).


      • _rob_

        09/03/2017 - 20:08

        Cyclists are car drivers as well and choose to not clog up the roads as much as possible with their cars. It is not safe to cycle on a path once you get to about 16mph.


      • rach1978

        09/03/2017 - 14:02

        Unreasoned arguments. Please see my comments below - and my letter which has been published in today's Newbury Weekly News about why cycle lanes are completely impractical.


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