New cyclepath will provide safe school routeBy Hugh Fort
January 15, 2013
Schoolchildren will be able to cycle safely to school as plans for a cycle and footway linking Woodley and Earley have been given the green light by council planners.
The £160,000 scheme will link the underpass in Henley Wood Road and Pond Head Lane, Earley, with Addington School and Bulmershe School, in Woodlands Avenue, Woodley.
The 3m-wide shared cycle and footway will run through the Bulmershe catchment area, meaning pupils will be able to cycle safely to the secondary school.
The cycle and footway will run from Woodlands Avenue, along the grassed verge in Fairwater Drive and into Nightingale Road. From there it will cross the road into School Drive before turning right to run behind houses to the underpass at the end of Henley Wood Road and Pond Head Lane.
Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and planning, approved the scheme last week.
The scheme is part of Wokingham Borough Council’s Local Transport Plan (LTP) and Active Travel Plan, which aims to encourage more people to walk and cycle around the borough.
Last year, the council bid successfully for £2.75 million of funding from the Department for Transport under the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), which aims to create sustainable transport schemes and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The project will be paid for using £100,000 capital funding, £17,000 from Wokingham Borough Council’s LSTF, and £43,000 from Reading Borough Council’s LSTF.
Cllr Baker said: “It is an extensive scheme for cycling and reflects the increase we have been putting in over the last few years.
“Four to five years ago this wouldn’t have happened as we didn’t have a policy towards cycling, but we have now.”
If the plans are approved, as council officers have recommended, work on the scheme is expected to start within the first three months of this year.