Friday, 16 June 2017

Proposals for Reading's first 'Red Route'

From Reading Council comes the news of an informal consultation on creating Reading’s first ever Red Route – running the length of the Number 17 bus route – began on the 12th June.


A Red Route is a ‘no stopping’ restriction which has been successfully used on major bus routes in London for many years, helping keep key public transport moving, preventing delays for bus passengers and improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
In Reading, the proposal is for a Red Route to be introduced along the length of the ‘purple’ 17 bus route. Existing parking bays along the route would be maintained wherever possible, and new ones would be added where they benefit local businesses or residents.
‘Purple’ 17 is Reading’s busiest and best-used bus route. Last year over 4.5 million individual journeys were made along the route – more than 90,000 trips per week. The bus route runs from Tilehurst in the west, along Norcot Road and the Oxford Road, crosses the Town Centre, before running east along the Kings Road, through Cemetery Junction and along the Wokingham Road. The introduction of a Red Route would help prevent illegal stopping or parking along the busy route which disrupts the flow of traffic for buses and for other road users.
The Council also regularly lobbied on safety concerns from residents and road users relating to vehicles double-parking along the busy route, or cars illegally parking or part-parking on pavements. The introduction of a Red Route will help prevent this through more effective enforcement, which will create a safer environment for local residents, pedestrians and cyclists.
The Council’s proposed Red Route restriction would be made up of a combination of double red and single red lines. These would mirror the current double yellow and single yellow lines along the length of the route.
Where double red lines are marked, vehicles cannot stop at any time – Monday to Sunday – including for short periods of loading or unloading. Only disabled blue badge holders and Hackney Carriages (black cabs) would be permitted to stop to allow for boarding and alighting, as well as emergency services.
Where single red lines are marked, drivers would only be able to stop or park in accordance with the signed restrictions. For both double red and single red lines, restrictions would be enforced by CCTV cameras.

Importantly, a key element of the Council’s proposed scheme is to retain all existing parking, loading and disabled bays along the length of the route wherever possible. Through the informal consultation process the Council will additionally seek to identify opportunities to add additional parking bays, and more flexible parking along certain sections of the route, where they would benefit local businesses and residents.
Maintaining existing parking bays and identifying further parking provision is a key focus of the 6-week informal consultation exercise, which opened on June 12, and runs until Friday July 21st. Details of the proposed scheme and how to respond can be found at www.reading.gov.uk/redroutes.

Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“Red Routes have been successfully used in London for many years now, and with great success. Keeping key bus routes clear and free from delays is essential in a busy town like Reading. ‘Purple’ route 17 is by far Reading’s best used bus service. A properly enforced Red Route is the next logical step in further speeding up journey times for bus passengers, and making the service even more reliable.
“A Red Route will also create a much safer environment for local residents who live along the route, cyclists and pedestrians, all of whom regularly complain to the Council about having to manoeuvre around illegally parked vehicles, putting themselves and other road users at risk.
“The success of the Red Route however, will be in designing a scheme which works for residents and local businesses along the route, as well as for road users.


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