THE first stage of a project to upgrade cycle and pedestrian routes between Newbury and Reading has been given the go-ahead.
The council said that the aim of the £1.1m scheme was to make it safer and more enjoyable for cyclists to travel between the two towns.
The first phase will see £350,000 spent on works to introduce cycle lanes on the carriageway and widening and resurfacing sections of pavement to create a shared space for pedestrians and cyclists.
Removing signs and relocating lampposts and bus shelters, upgrading crossing points and creating additional ones are also included.
The scheme is being funded through a £1.1m grant from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Following feedback from residents and road users, the council made some minor amendments to the scheme.
The council received 55 responses, with 23 people expressing support and 12 saying they were not supportive.
The project was approved by the council’s executive member for highways, Jeanette Clifford (Con, Northcroft) yesterday (Wednesday).
Mrs Clifford said: “These improvements will make it even easier to travel between Newbury, Thatcham and Reading by bike.
“The journey will be safer and more enjoyable and I hope it will encourage more people to venture out on their bikes.
“The benefits will not just be enjoyed by cyclists. It’s good for everyone when people get out of their cars and choose to cycle or walk instead.”
The scheme supports Newbury Vision 2026 and its focus on improving cycling participation and the development of cycle paths throughout the area.
A report on the project and further information can be read at http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=158&MId=4487&Ver=4