The government has been provided funding in rounds to councils to improve walking and cycling routes in their respective areas.
Reading Borough Council had devised three schemes but only one received funding to allow it to go ahead.
The council will be given £75,000 to build a pedestrian crossing in Upper Redlands Road.
One of the schemes that failed to receive funding was an improved cycling and walking connection at the junction of Sidmouth Street and Queens Road.
The Sidmouth Street cycle lane was controversial when it was implemented because it removed the use of the southbound lane for vehicle use, with opponents arguing it ‘duplicates’ a much more well-used walking and cycling route in Watlington Street.
“The Government significantly reduced the overall funding pot available to all local councils under the 4th tranche of the Active Travel, so while obviously disappointed there was always likely to be limited funding available for Reading on this occasion, particularly as it had been successful in earlier rounds.
“From the outset of the Active Travel Fund initiative, the Council has successfully bid for a total of £2.7 million to provide new and enhanced cycle and pedestrian facilities in Reading.”
The spokesperson explained that the council has received £1.179 million for the new cycle lanes in Shinfield Road, and £1.3 million for a Bath Road / Castle Hill cycle lane, with work set to start in 2024.
The Bath Road / Castle Hill route received an additional £1 million from the government in January, bringing the total for that project to £2.3 million.
On the council’s failure to receive funding for its other schemes, the spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the obvious strategic benefits of linking the existing Sidmouth Street cycle lane with the National Cycle Network 422 scheme at Kennetside was not recognised by Active Travel England at this time.
“It remains a firm ambition of the Council to deliver these improvements as and when new funding opportunities arise.
“The Council will continue to bid for external funding pots as and when they become available, to provide enhanced cycle and pedestrian facilities in Reading and as part of our drive to create realistic alternatives to the private car, improve local air quality and work towards the town’s net-zero by 2030 ambitions.”
Councillor Rob White, the leader of the opposition, was the only councillor who voted against making the Sidmouth Street cycle lane permanent in September 2022.
Cllr White (Green, Park) said: “Green councillors support better, safer cycle routes in Reading, but we didn’t support the Sidmouth Street cycle lane, which is a duplication of an existing good, well used cycle link – Watlington Street.
“The existing Watlington Street route for bikes is already joined up to the Kennet side via the pedestrian/cycle crossings next to the Lyndhurst pub.
“No wonder the government rejected the council’s bid for over £500,000 to connect Sidmouth Street to the Kennet Side.
“The council should be bidding for money to make our roads safe for cyclists and join up Reading’s disjointed cycle network. Unfortunately it is wasting time bidding for money to duplicate existing links.”
The council also failed to receive funding to investigate pedestrian and cycle improvements at Christchurch Green.