26 August 2019
Since Wokingham Borough Council's landmark decision to reject Reading Council's MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) application for a second and final time in December 2018, SOAR campaigners alondside Reading and Wokingham Greens, and Wokingham LibDems, and Wokingham Labour have been questioning the validity of the Park-and-Ride facility at Broken Brow.
Brenda McGonigle, Reading Green councillor sums up the consensus about this scheme: This car park, just a few metres from the Thames, is a disaster for the riverside environment and the scheme will do little to tackle congestion on London Road. Wokingham councillors should show some courage, hit pause and have a re-think."
Following the Park-and-Ride's planning approval in 2016 - supported by Labour councillors in Reading - when it was anticipated that the scheme would operate in conjunction with Reading's MRT (a glorified bus lane over the Kennet), the site is now currently being developed with a projected completion timeframe of Autumn 2019.
Cllr McGonilge continued: "The appeal of the scheme to commuters is highly questionable. Drivers commuting from Wokingham are served by the existing Winnersh Triangle P&R facility, whose Park-and-Rail service takes commuters to Reading in just 10 minutes. Whereas those drivers travelling further to reach the Broken Brow P&R—bringing car fume pollution to the banks of the Thames—will then face the prospect of sitting in heavily congested London Road traffic aboard the scheme's bus services; there is no bus lane until services reach the Kings Road past Cemetery Junction.
"We need WBC to continue their commitment to protecting the environment by suspending work on the site so that the changed circumstances around the P&R can be adequately debated and considered."
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