Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Broad Street - Cycling Consultation

Broad Street - cycling consultation
Closing date 31 December 2015.
The Council is seeking your views on cycling in Broad Street.
In the early 1990's, Broad Street was initially partially pedestrianised resulting in the introduction of a cycling ban between the West Street/St Marys Butts Junction and Queen Victoria Street.
When the full length of Broad Street was pedestrianised in 2000, the existing cycle links on Broad Street East were retained to allow access via Cross Street and Queen Victoria Street to the north of the Town Centre. However, the existing moving traffic restrictions in Broad Street West remained, including the cycling ban. 
The Council proposes a review of the current no cycling restriction in Broad Street West and to consider the suitability of permitting or banning cycling for the whole length of Broad Street.
Therefore, please can you complete the online form, confirming your preference on the two proposed options.
The results of the informal consultation will be reported to the Traffic Management Sub-Committee in January 2016, and a further Statutory Consultation will follow which will be based on the most popular option.
Here is the link to the on-line consultation.
Here is a link to the cycle routes in Reading town centre.
My View
My colleague Cllr Tony Page, Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, has said:
"Since the full pedestrianisation of Broad Street many years ago, the Council has put in place more bike racks, including a ReadyBike docking station, in Broad Street East. Cycling facilities have also been provided in Broad Street West, but the cycling ban has been retained." 
"The public consultation which will take place will also make clear however that cycling bans would be retained elsewhere in the Town Centre and will be enforced much more rigorously by Thames Valley Police and Reading Borough Council." 
As a member of the Traffic Management Sub-Committee I have often had to consider reports about cycling in Reading. I believe the record shows I have been consistently supportive of initiatives to make Reading a more cycle-friendly town.
And I agree with Tony Page when he says that the current arrangements in Broad Street "can cause confusion for cyclists and pedestrians and is difficult to enforce. We believe that having consistency along the full length of Broad Street makes sense"
"The issue of some cyclists choosing to ignore cycling bans is one the Council and police are lobbied on regularly by the public. The introduction of more logical restrictions would allow this tougher enforcement action where cycling bans are in place".
However, I disagree with Tony's conclusion that we should lift the ban on cycling for the full length of Broad Street.
My view, is that the full length of Broad Street should be pedestrians only and cyclists be encouraged to use Friar Street and Minster Streets respectively as their cross town centre routes.
Let's make Broad Street truly pedestrianised!
Participate in the consultation

Picture courtesy of GetReading