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Cyclist mocks new narrow bicycle lane saying ‘my shoulders are wider’

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Several cyclist have slammed the new cycle lane painted on Reading Bridge which is barely wide enough to fit in. The freshly-marked lane at Reading Bridge, has prompted ridicule & accusations of wasting taxpayer’s money from the local cycling community.

One angry man offered a ‘handy tip’ to those who re-painted the lines, blasting: ‘If you can’t fit the bike picture in the lane, it’s not wide enough.

Twitter user Oli said: ‘’Cycle lanes’ painted onto Reading bridge. Very narrow (handlebar width 50cm). How anyone could think this makes people on bicycles feel safer is baffling. Total waste of money and effort. To enable people to cycle we need protected infrastructure’

‘It is so terrible that it actively encourages drivers to closely pass as drivers wil assume that is all the space people on bikes need. ’

An investigation by Reading West can reveal that the hastily installed lanes measure are just 1.12 metre wide from the boundary line of the lane to the gutter of the sidewalk, well short of national recommended guidelines which is 2 metres by the Department for Transport, Institution of Highways and Transportation, CTC, DoT, etc.


1.12 meters

In an statement Reading Borough council said “In an ideal world there would be enough road space to make them mandatory, but that is not the case at Reading Bridge. The change of layout makes the best use of the limited road space available within the regulations, and it is worth noting a traffic lane has been removed to accommodate the new cycle lanes.”

“The Council considered reducing pavement widths, but this would have reduced space for pedestrians trying to socially distance at this time. It would also have taken much longer to implement. Installing kerbs or posts would have further reduced the width of lanes for cyclists.”

A council member that didn’t want to be named told us that, “Legally it’s not a bike lane as per National guidelines, It’s really an interim measure given the widths available on that bridge.” said the council member.

Aidan a Reading cyclist told us this morning, “It’s not the standard of what we expect for bike lanes” said Aidan. “I don’t really think there’s a place for painted bike lanes that are a metre wide.”

Whether it’s a legal bike lane or simply a “space for cyclists,” Aidan says the council should never have painted lanes that are below standard. 

In reality, this bike lane is too narrow to be considered a bike lane at all. It is putting bikers in danger. This puts cyclists just inches away from fast moving vehicles, causing cars to frequently veer into the median to avoid hitting cyclists using the marked lanes.

Recommended cycle lane widths from published guidance

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The nine-car British Rail Class 345 train removed from Crossrail

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The nine-car British Rail Class 345 is a type of electric multiple unit passenger train built by Bombardier Transportation for use on Crossrail & currently used between Reading to London Paddington have been removed from traffic due to a software problem, therefore all TfL Rail ‘345s’ in traffic are currently running as seven-car sets.

Bombardier built the trains at Derby Litchurch Lane. Spokesman Will Tanner told RAIL: “A defect has been discovered that affects the signalling system on some of our Class 345s operating TfL Rail services to and from London Paddington. As a precaution, the nine-car units have been temporarily withdrawn from passenger service while we work to resolve the problem.

“All other Class 345s operating TfL Rail services to and from London Paddington and London Liverpool Street continue to operate as normal. I can’t give you a date when we will be able to return to nine-car operation but will do as soon as I can.”

No date has been given for the return to traffic of nine-car Class 345s on TfL Rail trains between London Paddington and Reading.

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Resident’s anger over state of Dee Park streets

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Reading west were invited by a Dee Park housing estate resident to visit the current state of the area.

The photos below were shot on Sunday 22 July 2020 in & around the kids playground & basketball court next to Glemore Place, Dee park Estate, Reading, and shows shopping trollies inside and down an alley, black bin bags, empty washing, face mask, discarded food containers etc.

The resident, who did not wish to be named said: “Every alley in the area is a mess.

“The streets that are really bad are the alleyways nearby Glemore Place leading to the basketball & playground and around Deveron Dr, Thurso Cl, Strathy Cl”

As we were walking along the streets, we spotted dog poo, dirty nappies, all type of household waste, more shopping trollies from the nearby Morrison store and black bin bags, just to mention a few.

He also said the bin men do not take the “contaminated” bags left out by householders which makes the problems even worse.

“They need cameras putting up. People come from different streets and just dump their rubbish in other people’s alleys.”
“There is an area in Strathy Close that every month fly-tippers dump their rubbish.”

Other resident we came across told us that “the littering has been happening for years”.

In September 2007 Reading Borough council vowed to regenerate the area, It is obvious for us that for many of the residents that announcement means nothing.

The council must take this matter seriously and understand that visible signs of crime, anti-social behaviour, and civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder, including serious crimes.

We have contacted the council & Reading West MP Alok Sharma to try to solve the problem.

All littering found during this report have been reported to the council.

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Crossrail delayed again as bosses blame Covid-19

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Crossrail has delayed its opening again with project chiefs blaming the latest setback on Covid-19.

The troubled railway, from Reading, Berkshire to Abbey Wood, Essex via central London, was originally expected to open in December 2018 but repeated delays have pushed it back.

Crossrail confirmed on Thursday that this is now “not achievable.”

On Thursday evening, Crossrail said: “A programme of this scale and complexity was already challenging, the impact of Covid-19 has clearly made the existing pressures more acute.

“Due to a pause of physical activity on sites and significant constraints on ongoing work – time has been lost, only some of which can be recovered.”

Construction work stopped due to Covid-19 on March 24 and restarted on June 15. Train testing work restarted earlier on May 30.

The rail line was due to open in December 2018 but has been beset by a number of delays and increases to its original £14.8bn budget, which was agreed in 2010.

Crossrail chiefs have not issued a revised timetable but said “a more comprehensive update will be issued in due course.”

They added: “Work continues to refine and validate the remaining work schedule and associated costs.”

Mark Wild, Chief Executive, Crossrail Ltd, said: “We have a comprehensive plan to complete the railway but existing schedule pressure along with Covid-19 has impacted the programme and time has been lost.

“Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, good progress continues to be made with completing the remaining construction works, with much of this work coming to an end along with software testing for the signalling and train systems.

“The focus is completing the outstanding works across the tunnels, shafts and portals so that intensive operational testing can begin and the Elizabeth line can be delivered at the earliest opportunity.”

Andy Byford, London’s new transport commissioner, said: “The news that coronavirus and other factors mean the railway cannot now open next summer is hugely disappointing.”

Last month was announced that Crossrail and the Costain Skanska joint venture building the project’s problem Bond Street project have parted ways. Crossrail will oversee completion of the remaining works in-house.

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