Thursday 18 February 2016

Should Cycling Be Allowed in Broad Street, Reading?

Reading Borough Council has launched a three-week statutory consultation today on whether cycling should be allowed along the whole length of Broad Street.
Jenny Rynn & me, Broad St, 2012

This follows an informal online consultation a couple of months ago, the results of which showed majority support for the proposal.  However, there was criticism from residents as the consultation wasn’t well-known about - apart from the cycling fraternity – and the results were questioned.  One of my residents who has eye-sight problems has contacted me already, very concerned by the proposal.

I must put my hand up and say that I am a cyclist however I don’t mind walking my bike across or along Broad Street.   Perhaps I would feel differently though if I was always on my bike (which I’m not) and used it to commute.

Back in 2012 when my friend Jenny Rynn was Mayor of Reading I accompanied her on an invitation from Guide Dogs for the Blind to try walking blindfold along Broad Street.  It gave me a completely new perspective, highlighting just how scary it is to have to rely on your other senses in this busy pedestrianised road. To read about my experience here’s the link.

Getting back to the statutory consultation, if you would like to voice your views do email or write to C J Brooks, Head of Legal and Democratic Services, Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU.  You can read more about the consultation by going to:

Update: On 10 March RBC's Traffic Management Committee agreed to leave the cycling ban along part of Broad Street in place as the results of the statutory consultation were so close. Personally I'm pleased by the result as I believe it is the safest option.