Letter to Leader of Wokingham Council about highways consultation


Dear Clive


        Thank you for extending the period of this consultation. It is important more people are made aware of it given its significance for our community. I trust the Council will seek to make it better known in the days that remain.


        The power and responsibility to make changes to our roads, cycleways and paths rests with Wokingham Borough Council as the Highways Authority. The central government does  not require you to make specific changes to roads or junctions and certainly does not want to see a policy of impeding the reasonable use of motor vehicles for people getting to work, to the shops, and to leisure facilities. Nor does it wish to see good access blocked for emergency vehicles, service providers and delivery vehicles.


         As Wokingham is currently  experiencing fast growth in population with a substantial rate of new housebuilding under our local plan it is most important that we expand road, cycleway and walking route capacities to meet the rising demand. I trust the Council will continue with the policy of putting in extra good road provision to bypass busy settlements and to remove dangerous road bottlenecks. It should also wish to ease congestion at junctions to reduce pollution, reduce tensions between different users of the roads and  make for smoother and safer journeys. The government does provide additional money for suitable schemes for roads and cycleways but does not lay down where or how these should be introduced.


Yours sincerely


John Redwood


Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP


  1. glen cullen
    August 27, 2022

    My council told me that the government fund to improve/create cycle lanes was the only money on the table…and they had a deadline to construct
    Later my councillor told me not to worry as it wasn’t council tax money ! I told him it was still taxpayer money that didn’t need to be spent
    Our government is pushing cycle lanes on council….and they believe its free

    1. Lifelogic
      August 27, 2022

      Government propaganda, quite wrongly, claims that walking and cycling create no CO2. In fact they are both powered by extra human food intake – which is very carbon intensive indeed. Fertilisers, farming, drying, feeding to animals, butchery, drying, packaging, preparation, food waste, health and safety, cooking… can mean 1 KWh of food energy can take as much as 30KWH of energy to produce for meat/fish especially. Then the human engine wastes about 75% of the energy anyway.

      They also claim cycling causes no congestion also false. Especially when you halve the road space and give it to perhaps 5% of the users on buses, taxis and bikes and make the 95% use the other half. Or when two cyclist block the road going up a hill at 5MPH with 20 cars stuck behind them.

  2. IanT
    August 27, 2022

    Ambitious plans to turn Wokingham into a giant cycle and footpath network, all currently completely unfunded of course. I’m not sure if this is a Lib Dem fantasy or if the Tories were planning similar changes.
    Apparently half the population will be delighted to cycle or walk into town, including all the new households being built around the outskirts to the north and south.
    Fortunately, I can still walk into town in about 15-20 minutes but do tire quickly once there (but my wife just can’t walk that far) and neither of us are ever likely to ride bikes again. We have two buses (at 11.30 and 14.30) into the centre, not exactly a lot of time to get to Bracknell or Reading (and back) on the connecting buses.
    The weather is dry and warm at the moment. Strangely, we don’t see nearly as many people walking, cycling or scooting past here in the pouring rain and freezing cold.
    All in all – it’s a bit like the whole Net-Zero dream, high on fantasy, low on reality and with absolutely no detailed impact or cost assessment, something that is currently costing us dear in terms of energy supplies. If Wokingham Council want to really kill off the town centre then their apparent crusade against the car is one way to start the ball rolling…

    1. Peter Parsons
      August 30, 2022

      There have been consultations on this same topic in previous years. The previous Conservative-run council were also looking at making such changes.

      For example, there’s a news item from 8th March 2021 on the Earley Town Council webite detailing various plans and schemes that Wokingham Borough Council (at the time run by the Conservatives) were proposing and bidding for funding for. Those proposals included making much of Woodlands Avenue in Woodley one-way and turning the other half of the road into a cycle route.

  3. hefner
    August 27, 2022

    I see that the Wokingham Conservatives want the/a new Royal Berkshire Hospital to be built in Wokingham. As far as I am concerned accessing Wokingham is as difficult as accessing the present RBH in Reading. It is to be hoped that the ‘powers that be’ will consider a location easily accessible from the M4/A329M/A33 and not a location as the one off Barkham Road in Wokingham.

    1. Wokingham Conservatives
      August 30, 2022


      Dear Hefner

      The campaign is for the new RBH to be in Wokingham Borough not in Reading town centre.

      Conservatives in Wokingham believe that the best option for rebuilding Royal Berkshire and to tackle the significant backlog is to build a brand new hospital, on a site that is more easily accessible to all patients, not just those in Reading, that is designed with modern services and joined up care in mind and which has sufficient vehicle access and car parking at all times of day.

      We believe that attempting to rebuild at the existing site will cause decades of disruption and not solve the fundamental issues at the current site, namely accessibility, space, capacity, parking and sustainability. It is clear that only by building on a new site can these challenges be overcome. Relocating the hospital would also significantly ease congestion going into Reading.

      We believe that the ideal site for the new hospital would be in Wokingham Borough, within close proximity to the M4. This is the only site that will be easily accessible to residents from across Berkshire, where there is space for some or all services to be accommodated, and for the layout and supporting infrastructure to be design to work seemlessly, providing better care for patients, and easier access for visitors.

      We encourage residents to support our petition using the link above.

      Thanks for your support
      Wokingham Conservatives

  4. Berkshire Alan
    August 28, 2022

    This Proposal and consultation by the Council has been hidden very well on their website, under a simple cycling and walking proposal, the fact that it plans to alter all of the roads that enter, and go through the Town Centre, seems to be no reason to publicise this in a much wider manner.
    The new proposals of reducing Peach street to one lane, narrowing Rectory road and adding traffic lights as well as reducing the speed limit to 20mph, Broad street will also be modified and narrowed, as will Wiltshire road, Rose street will also have more restrictions on access.
    Given the above this proposal will affect and slow down everyone who wants to access or travel through the Town by car, no matter if it is Electric, Hybrid or an ICE vehicle, so the excuse that they want to reduce emissions is simply a cover story, as vehicles travelling with more obstructions will increase pollution because they will be travelling in a stop start manner in a lower gear.
    I have no problems with making the roads and paths safer for all users, but pray tell me where all of these so called cyclists are going to park (securely) their bikes in Town, because there seems to be no provision for this in the plans, and cycle theft is rife locally.
    The Council have so far spent over £100 million on the Town Centre, increasing the number of shops but keeping car parks at the original levels, we also have 5 supermarkets in the Town, do they think we are all going to take home our goods by bike. Likewise how do they think all of these businesses are going to be stocked with goods, if road space is going to be restricted.
    The so called relief roads of which they speak and hope will be used, are no more than single lane housing estate roads, with many tight bends and mini roundabouts, local residents may use these if they live close by, but for through traffic and delivery lorries they are completely unsuitable.
    I was a keen cyclist many years ago, but not any more as age catches up with you eventually.
    What is it with people wanting a cycling utopia at the expense of everything else !

    1. IanT
      August 30, 2022

      Very much agree with you – most especially about the so-called “relief roads” – when they first built the first section of the southern one off London road, I couldn’t beleive they seriously thought it was usabel for anything but the local housing. Homes with front doors six foot off the curb, parking slots that were quite narrow (used by commercial vehicles that stick out into the traffic lane) and various planters and curbing that really isn’t suitable for heavier traffic. I wasn’t expecting a bypass but they could have designed something much better than this.

      1. Berkshire Alan
        August 31, 2022

        The simple fact is Ian, the road and its route should have been designed first when all this land was undeveloped, and then the housing developments designed and planned with that in mind.
        30 years ago, long before the new housing estates were even thought of Wokingham Council were looking at relief road options to ease traffic through the Town, at that time they compulsory purchased about 100 homes, sat on proposals for 10 years, then scrapped the plans and decided to sell the houses back into use again with no future plan for the traffic, thus what we have now is a dogs dinner of a scheme, that is probably just about adequate for the new residents of the new housing (now mostly all built), but it does not solve the original or existing problem !

        For what it’s worth I have made and sent in my comments on the present proposed scheme, but I doubt it will make any difference, comment deadline is now the 4th September so still some time left.

Comments are closed.