30 June 2017
Informal consultation on creating Reading’s first ever Red Route – running the length of the Number 17 bus route – has begun (as of June 12).
A Red Route is a ‘no stopping’ restriction which has been successfully used on major bus routes in London for many years, helping keep key public transport moving, preventing delays for bus passengers, and improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
In Reading, the proposal is for a Red Route to be introduced along the length of the ‘purple’ 17 bus route. Existing parking bays along the route would be maintained wherever possible, and new ones would be added where they benefit local businesses or residents. The Council also regularly lobbied on safety concerns from residents and road users relating to vehicles double-parking along the busy route, or cars illegally parking or part-parking on pavements. The introduction of a Red Route will help prevent this through more effective enforcement, which will create a safer environment for local residents, pedestrians and cyclists.
The Council’s proposed Red Route restriction would be made up of a combination of double red and single red lines. These would mirror the current double yellow and single yellow lines along the length of the route. Where double red lines are marked, vehicles cannot stop at any time – Monday to Sunday – including for short periods of loading or unloading. Only disabled blue badge holders and Hackney Carriages (black cabs) would be permitted to stop to allow for boarding and alighting, as well as emergency services. Where single red lines are marked, drivers would only be able to stop or park in accordance with the signed restrictions. For both double red and single red lines, restrictions would be enforced by CCTV cameras.
Importantly, a key element of the Council’s proposed scheme is to retain all existing parking, loading and disabled bays along the length of the route wherever possible. Through the informal consultation process the Council will additionally seek to identify opportunities to add additional parking bays, and more flexible parking along certain sections of the route, where they would benefit local businesses and residents.
Maintaining existing parking bays and identifying further parking provision is a key focus of the 6-week informal consultation exercise, which opened Monday June 12th and runs until Friday July 21st. Details of the proposed scheme and how to respond can be found at www.reading.gov.uk/redroutes.
Green Party Councillor Rob White said: "This is generally a good thing for creating a more reliable bus service. We also think that if done right it could tackle the Wokingham Road parking problems in the vicinity of Alfred Sutton school."
The three sets of proposals can be viewed in detail at www.reading.gov.uk/redroutes. Using the feedback section on the same webpage is also the easiest and quickest way people can give their views. Alternatively, people can email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Network Management, Reading Borough Council, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU.
Maps of the plans for each of the three areas will also be on display in the reception area of the Council’s Civic Offices, in Bridge Street, for the whole of the 6-week consultation period, which runs between June 12th and July 21st.
Depending upon the feedback it is possible that an experimental scheme could be prepared to go live in the autumn. Should this be the case, everyone will be able to formally comment on the Red Route having viewed it in operation. If the experimental scheme (with any amendments) is successful, traffic orders for a permanent scheme would then be advertised and would be the subject of a formal statutory public consultation process.
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