Driving and cycling on the roads in Reading is about to change in some key ways for the coming year.
Reading Borough Council has made some big decisions changing the town’s road network during 2022, governing where you can drive and park your car, and where you can cycle.
Below are the three biggest changes that will affect how you get about in 2023.
These involve new double yellow lines on one main north-south route, the introduction of fines for moving traffic offences, and a lane being permanently closed-off to drivers.
Double yellow lines on a major road
Double yellow lines have begun to appear on Shinfield Road, which will eventually run from its junction with Shinfield Rise to the south and Christchurch Green to the north.
In June, the council’s traffic management sub-committee unanimously approved the double yellow lines project.
The change means drivers cannot park their car along the road for any reason.
Work began in early October 2022.
A council spokesperson explained: “Double yellow lines were installed on both sides of Shinfield Road, on the sections from Christchurch Green to Pepper Lane, and from Pepper Lane to Cressingham Road.”
The yellow lines are being laid to clear the way for new cycle lanes aimed at encouraging people to cycle rather than drive.
The spokesperson added: “The installation of these and removal of on-street parking, particularly around the university, has enabled the council to begin the construction of the cycle scheme and the first short section of this is now complete.”
Additional line laying will be undertaken in phases, with hopes to complete the Cressingham Road to Shinfield Rise stretch in late Spring or early Summer 2023.
Fines for stopping in yellow box junctions
One of the most recent changes made, drivers are set to be fined for stopping in yellow box junctions.
Reading Borough Council won permission to prosecute moving traffic offences from the Government in November.
Moving traffic offences include going the wrong way down one-way streets, and making banned turns, with stopping in yellow box junctions being the first offence that the council wanted to prosecute.
Although the AA objected to the move, raising fears drivers could be fined unnecessarily, councillors on the strategic environment, planning and transport committee voted unanimously to adopt the prosecution of the offences.
Use of Sidmouth Street southbound permanently removed
Although this is a change that drivers will already be familiar with, the decision to close off the southbound lane of Sidmouth Street was made permanent this year.
The closure of the lane was initiated in 2020 as part of active travel measures during the pandemic – allowing it to be used for bicycles only instead.
But in order for it to be used for cyclists on a permanent basis, the council had to impose a traffic order on the lane.
The proposal to close the lane proved unpopular, as neighbours argued that it was poorly used by cyclists and blocked off a route for emergency services.
However, when it came to a vote, 12 councillors on the traffic management sub-committee voted for it, with only councillor Rob White (Green, Park) abstaining.