Reading Transport Strategy 2036

Closed 13 Oct 2019

Opened 29 Jul 2019

Feedback Updated 19 Dec 2019

We Asked

We asked for your feedback into the early stages of designing a new transport strategy for Reading to last the next 15 years.

You Said

You gave a wide range of feedback about how we can make transport in Reading faster, simpler, safer, less congested, more connected, more accessible and better for the environment.

We have published the full results on the consultation page.

We Did

This consultation was the first step in designing a new transport strategy for Reading.

We are now using your feedback to inform the strategy document, and there will be a further consultation on the draft strategy in spring/summer 2020.

Results Updated 19 Dec 2019

About the consultation

Over the summer of 2019 we ran a consultation on the future of transport in Reading. We launched this at the start of developing our next transport strategy for Reading and was designed to get early input into the priorities and direction of the new strategy.

Our objectives were:

  • To get early feedback to inform the development of the new strategy.
  • To hear from as many people as possible and to hear from a cross section of people – including those who live in the Borough, people travelling in from outside, a range of ages and a geographical spread.

 The consultation ran from Monday 29th July 2019 to 13th October 2019.

 We publicised the consultation with:

  • A media launch.
  • Promotion on the Council’s website, social media channels, through our hubs and libraries and on the big screen at Reading station.   
  • A leaflet delivered to 70,000 households and 3,800 businesses in the Borough.
  • Consultation events including meetings with partners, public drop sessions, pop up stalls at Reading Station and Green Park, and visits to local schools.

We had more than 3,000 responses: almost 2,900 online and a further 750 from events.

Who responded?

  • There was an equal split between males (51%) and females (49%).
  • The age group with the highest level of respondents was 36-45, however there was a good spread of responses across all age ranges.
  • 78% of the respondents live in Reading Borough, 12% live in the wider urban area and 10% live outside of the urban area.
  • 54% of respondents reported that their current main mode of travel is by sustainable modes, 43% drive and 3% travel by other means.
  • Of the 43% of respondents who said they drive as their main mode of travel in and around Reading:
    • 65% drive to work,
    • 16% take children to school,
    • 70% drive to the shops,
    • 68% drive for leisure, recreation or to socialise
    • 21% drive for other purposes.
  • Of the 43% of respondents who said their main mode of transport is to drive, 37% have or are considering changing their main mode of travel.

Results summary

We proposed five themes to underpin the new transport strategy:

  • People and places
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Clean and green
  • Inclusive growth
  • Smart solution

90% of respondents supported these proposed themes.

A number of key themes emerged including:

1. Support for sustainable transport such as measures to improve public transport, walking and cycling:

  • Accessible - Cheaper bus fares, more capacity on vehicles, integrated timetabling between buses and trains, smart ticketing, wider catchment of bus routes, air conditioning on buses.
  • Convenient – More frequent, faster and more reliable, round town routes complementing town centre routes.
  • Park and Ride – All sides of the town and accessible to users
  • Safety – safer routes, away from traffic, lit, crossings.
  • Quality – surface of the route, smooth for cycling and walking.
  • Connected – Joined up network of cycle routes, better connected to destinations and transport hubs.
  • Facilitated – Changing facilities, secure cycle parking, e-bike/scooter charging.

2. Support for measures to manage congestion and the growing demand for transport including using technology, dedicating space for sustainable transport and 'management' measures such as limiting when and where cars can go, and vehicle charging schemes.

Detailed results

1. We asked people to rank how effective the possible strategies to improve transport in Reading would be. The highest ranking option was increasing journeys on foot, bike and public transport. The next highest were reducing cars on the network and tackling congestion on major roads, bridges and junctions.

2. We asked people to rank the possible strategies to reduce the number of cars on the road according to how effective they thought they would be. All of the options received support from more than half of all respondents, with an improved Park and Ride network ranking the highest.

  • 83% thought a better Park and Ride network would be effective.
  • 75% thought reallocating road space for sustainable modes of transport would be effective.
  • 66% thought a smart parking system would be effective.
  • 65% thought initiatives such as car clubs and lift sharing would be effective.
  • 60% thought a charging scheme for private vehicles would be effective.

3. We asked people to rank the possible strategies to increase journeys on foot and bike according to how effective they thought they would be. All of the options received support from more than half of all respondents, with three options ranking above 90%.

  • 92% thought improving the quality and safety of routes would be effective.
  • 92% thought improving the connectedness of the walking and cycling network would be effective.
  • 90% thought dedicated spaces for walking and cycling free of cars would be effective.
  • 89% thought having secure cycle parking and changing facilities at destinations would be effective.
  • 59% thought a charging scheme for private vehicles would be effective.

 4. We asked people to rank the possible strategies to increase journeys on public transport according to how effective they thought they would be. All of the options received support from 89% or more of all respondents.

  • 94% thought extending the network with more frequent services to workplaces, schools and isolated areas would be effective.
  • 93% thought making public transport easier to use with transferable tickets and joined up timetables would be effective.
  • 93% thought making journeys faster and more reliable would be effective.
  • 89% thought making public transport more accessible to everyone would be effective.

 5. We asked people to rank the possible strategies to tackle congestion on our roads according to how effective they thought they would be. All the options received support from more than half the respondents, with more capacity (bus and cycle lanes, river crossing) and dedicated space for space for public transport ranking the highest:

  • 88% thought increasing capacity with schemes such as a new river crossing, more bus and cycle lanes or new forms of transport like river taxis would be effective.
  • 82% thought dedicated space and priority for sustainable transport would be effective.
  • 59% thought a charging scheme for private cars would be effective.

 6. We asked people to rank the possible strategies that make use of the current and emerging smart technology to improve transport in Reading according to how effective they thought they would be. All the options received support from more than 70% of respondents, with using real time information to manage junctions and signals ranking highest:

  • 91% thought using real time traffic information to better manage junctions and traffic signals would be effective.
  • 84% thought using real time data about traffic conditions to help people make decisions about how to travel would be effective
  • 73% thought using technology to replacing need to travel, eg work at home, online shopping would be effective
  • 71% thought using apps to integrating services like car clubs and cycle hire would be effective

 7. We asked people to rank the possible strategies to improve air quality in the town according to how effective they thought they would be. All the options received support from more than 70% of respondents, with zero emission vehicles and road space for sustainable transport the most popular.

  • 86% thought facilities to encourage uptake of zero emission vehicles such as electric vehicle charging points would be effective
  • 83% thought prioritising road space for sustainable transport would be effective
  • 73% though limiting cars outside schools and in the Town Centre would be effective
  • 72% thought a clean air charging scheme for high emission vehicles would be effective

 8. We asked people to rank the possible strategies to improve safety on the road network according to how effective they thought they would be. All the options received support from more than half of respondents, with safety measures like crossings and speed restrictions the most popular.

  • 88% thought better crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists would be effective
  • 82% thought managing traffic with reduced speed limits or joined up traffic signals would be effective
  • 78% thought limiting cars in sensitive areas, e.g. schools and town centre would be effective
  • 76% thought initiatives where roads are free of traffic for a period of time would be effective
  • 53% thought a charging scheme for private cars would be effective

9. Drivers were asked what they thought could be done to encourage people to make more journeys on foot, by bike or on public transport. The majority of drivers who answered said better public transport would encourage them to change how they travel. Many also said they wanted better cycling facilities.

Other feedback 

The consultation also asked for any other feedback. The main points raised include:

  • Support for extension of public transport services throughout Reading (particularly Caversham and direct services to Royal Berkshire Hospital).
  • A number of responses supported new park and ride facilities as well as the extension of services into and around Reading.
  • Support for subsidised bus fares for vulnerable people, including the elderly, people on low incomes and families.
  • A range of comments about public transport – some in agreement and some proposing alternative points of view – such as the need for additional and more reliable services (inc. school bus services), and bus lanes being used by other modes of transport (e.g. motorcycles, electric vehicles, multiple occupancy vehicles).
  • Some comments suugesting the re-introduction of tram services between the town centre and outer suburbs.
  • A number of responses specifically referenced the introduction of a third bridge over the River Thames to help manage traffic levels in Reading.
  • A number of responses referenced the need to provide an outer ring road around Reading to help alleviate congestion in Reading and reduce through traffic.
  • Comments supporting road infrastructure improvements along the IDR and key corridors.
  • Comments highlighting the need to provide segregated and connected cycle facilities that are safe and secure.
  • A number of comments related to upgrading footways to ensure they are accessible for use by people with particular mobility requirements, for instance through improved surfacing, dropped kerbs etc.
  • A range of comments about vehicle charging schemes – some in agreement and some proposing alternative points of view – including support for the introduction of charging schemes, and concerns about the impact of charging schemes on residents on low incomes and those with mobility issues.
  • Comments supporting smart solutions, including cleaner transport options, such as electric vehicles, and initiatives for smoothing traffic flow.

Overview

We’re planning for the future of transport in Reading and we want to know what you think.

Transport matters to all of us. It connects us with our workplaces, schools, friends and families. It affects our health, the air we breathe, and the streets where we live. It helps our economy to grow and our town to thrive, and it can make the environment around us clean and friendly or dirty and dangerous.

Future travel in Reading is about more than moving people from A to B. It must be affordable and accessible, improve people’s health and wellbeing, support a growing and inclusive economy, enable a carbon neutral future for Reading and harness the latest technology.

The strategy we develop now will shape our town’s transport network to 2036 and beyond, informing the decisions we take, the funding we secure and the changes we make.

What Happens Next

Thanks for all your input into this consultation which closed on 20th September 2019.

We are now bringing togther all the responses we have received from the online survey with those from our public events and the focus groups held with residents, neighbouring local authorities, transport companies, local business and schools. 

We plan to share what we have heard in November, and we will then start writing our new transport strategy. This should be ready in spring/summer 2020 when we will share it again.

Keep an eye out on the Council's website and social media channels for updates.

Events

  • Transport Strategy drop-in - South Reading Community Hub

    From 6 Aug 2019 at 15:00 to 6 Aug 2019 at 18:30

    Come and see us at South Reading Community Hub to find out more about transport in Reading and tell us how you think it should be improved.

    South Reading Community Hub, 252 Northumberland Avenue, Whitley, Reading RG2 7QA

  • Transport Strategy drop-in - Church House, Caversham

    From 15 Aug 2019 at 15:00 to 15 Aug 2019 at 19:00

    Come and see us at Church House in Caversham to find out more about transport in Reading and tell us how you think it should be improved.

    Church House, 57-59 Church Street, Caversham RG4 8AX

  • Transport Strategy drop-in - Salvation Army, Oxford Road

    From 28 Aug 2019 at 15:00 to 28 Aug 2019 at 19:00

    Come and see us at Salvation Army on Oxford Road to find out more about transport in Reading and tell us how you think it should be improved.

    Salvation Army, 522 Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1EG

  • Transport Strategy drop-in - Town Hall

    From 4 Sep 2019 at 15:00 to 4 Sep 2019 at 19:00

    Come and see us at the Town Hall to find out more about transport in Reading and tell us how you think it should be improved.

    Waterhouse Chmaber, Reading Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH

  • Transport Strategy drop-in - Reading Station

    From 10 Sep 2019 at 07:00 to 10 Sep 2019 at 10:00

    Come and see us outside the main entrance of Reading Station to find out more about transport in Reading and tell us how you think it should be improved.

Areas

  • All Areas