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South Reading Bus Rapid Transit Scheme – Next Phase Started

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Works to further improve journey times for buses serving south Reading and the Mereoak Park and Ride are due to get under way next week.

The fifth phase of the South Reading Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme on the A33 Relief Road will create further bus lanes, additional bus stops and a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Kennet.

The latest stage of the ongoing project is part of Reading’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) which is being funded by a £26 million Department for Transport grant.

This phase of the South Reading BRT is designed to allow buses on the A33 to avoid current pinch points and help to further improve bus services to Kennet Island, Green Park and Mereoak P&R.

The scheme will provide improvements in the vicinity of the Rose Kiln Lane (North) junction, with new bus lanes to the north and south of the junction, to link with the existing bus lane, and additional bus stops providing improved access to Reading Link Retail Park and other nearby businesses.

There will also be a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Kennet on the west side of the current road bridge.

Work will start on site on Monday 18 March and will be carried out with off-peak lane closures and limited overnight full road closures. All efforts will be made to minimise delays for road users.

Works around the Rose Kiln Lane (North) junction will be completed first and all work on this phase of the scheme is due to be completed by spring 2025.

The South Reading BRT scheme has delivered a series of bus priority measures on the A33 Relief Road between Mereoak Park and Ride and the town centre since the first section opened in 2016.

As a result, journey times for buses using the corridor have reduced by 24% from 2015, when Mereoak P&R opened, making these services among the most reliable in the Reading area. Average passenger numbers have increased by 62% between 2015-2019.

The Council is also keen to see the expansion of services from the Winnersh Triangle Park and Ride and to work with neighbouring local authorities to create more park and ride routes to the town centre, as detailed in the Reading Transport Strategy 2040.

Encouraging the use of public transport through improved bus services is part of the Council’s aims to reduce air pollution and for Reading to become carbon net zero by 2030.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Climate Strategy and Transport, said:

“The latest phase of the South Reading Bus Rapid Transit scheme is another step towards providing a seamless link between Mereoak Park and Ride and Reading town centre.

“The sections of the project are linking up to provide even quicker and more reliable journeys for passengers travelling between south Reading and the town, and they are great value.

“We have already seen passenger numbers rocket thanks to the South Reading BRT project and this latest phase will make bus services along this corridor even more attractive.

“I look forward to working with neighbouring local authorities to be able to provide similar park and ride routes for visitors coming into Reading from all directions. “There will inevitably be some disruption while the work is carried out and I thank road users in advance for their patience.”