Wokingham consults on more wasteful road schemes

The Lib Dem Council has a determination to spend huge sums on road consultants to come up with expensive schemes to make it more difficult to get to work by van or car, to impede  deliveries made to our homes, to make life far more co0mplicated taking  children to school and doing  the weekly shop. This month they are consulting on the first part of a very expensive four part plan for the A 329, a crucial east west highway, between Winnersh and Wokingham. They want to get government money to cover their big costs, as if that was not more money taken from Wokingham taxpayers in a different way to the Council Tax. Government funds local Councils for the Councils priorities. The Council needs to have sensible priorities and to make good use of taxpayers money when it claims it. The Council will be on risk of the project overrunning or going wrong.

The idea is to create two wide cycle lanes either side of a reduced road for vans, lorries and cars. The current cycle lanes do not attract much use. The Council has clearly not studied who does use the road and why they use it. If they did they would find many of the uses cannot be done on a bike. The plumber and the decorator, the maintenance man and the parcel deliverer need a  van to do their work. People taking young children to school do not want to try to supervise them on bicycles in the morning rush. People needing to carry home a week’s food shopping need a car. People wanting to complete a decent amount of work in a day that need to travel around often need the flexibility the car provides.

Spare us the anguish and the cost. People living along the road do  not want major roadworks for months on end with all the noise and dust. People trying to do their jobs need to  be able to use that main road.


  1. Aaron
    October 11, 2023

    Or, charge pushbike users vehicle excise duty for use of the roads. Make it law that cyclists must have 3rd party liability insurance, and are prosecuted when disobeying road traffic laws. Ensure road legal bikes have a camera readable number plate associated with a legal owner. Same for electric scooters. Prosecutor people for riding without crash helmets and lights.

    Use the tax gathered from cyclists to dig up the roads and install cycle lanes.

    What would be nice is to have some way of returning underused cycle paths back to normal roads when it’s determined to be not cost effective to maintain them. Can counsellors be held personally liable for errors and wasteful spending of tax payers money?

    Incidentally whomever signed off the cycle lane on shinfield road up from the university needs to be charged with negligence in public office. The road becomes too small for 2 lanes of vehicles, so vehicles end up mounting the cycle lane path until the road widens and 2 vehicles can pass each other. Not once have I seen a cyclist use that cycle lane, they stick to the path with the pedestrians for their own safety!

    1. Peter Parsons
      October 17, 2023

      That particular scheme (Shinfield Road) is the result of a successful bid by a Labour-run council (Reading) to a Conservative-administered national government pot of money (the Active Travel Fund).

  2. Berkshire Alan.
    October 11, 2023

    Agree that the cycle paths each side of the existing road does not seem to get much use, many cyclists still use either the road or the path, and very often are cycling in the opposite direction to traffic when doing so.
    The proposed new scheme up for consultation will have a raised curb between the proposed new cycle track and the road, as well as between the cycle track and the path. The above that will mean two drop curbs will be necessary to access each property on a fully residential road.
    The proposal also includes a reduction in the speed limit from 40mph to30 mph, to which I have no real problem as this measure in itself would certainly make the existing cycle tracks safer, at very, very low cost.
    The biggest danger to cyclists I would suggest is the state of the road and cycle path surfaces, with endless potholes and sunken manholes/drains.
    As usual the Council is proposing a completely over the top suggestion, which could be fixed in a much simpler and less expensive manner in a more rapid time scale, with less disruption.
    I have sent my views to the Council on this scheme for what it is worth.
    I would urge others to do the same, consultation ends on October 22nd.

  3. John McDonald
    October 11, 2023

    The fact that the Council needs consultants to advise them is not unlike central Government in that it has no Engineers and the like on the staff ( civil servants) to give sound advice from experience of the local situation and problems, at no way near the cost of consultants.
    We just have managers and administrators in Councils and Government these days with too few skilled professional people.
    Also if you use consultants, when the project goes pear shaped, you can blame the consultants.
    In regard to cycle lanes- Wokingham is not the Netherlands. There is a reason why cycle lanes where not implemented in the UK up until the last 20 years or so.

  4. margaret campbell-white
    October 11, 2023

    Common sense as usual, Sir John!

  5. Kayla Tomlinson
    October 17, 2023

    Just more wasting money by the Council. I filled out a useless survey on this. Probably to no avail.

Comments are closed.