Current project status
This project has planning approval and ground clearance works have taken. Detailed design has been completed after ground investigations and a full topographical survey were carried out and construction will begin in early 2019.
Why are we building Thames Valley Park and Ride
The A4 London Road has been identified as the main route for vehicles travelling to Reading town centre from the east, and for links from Junction 10 of the M4. There is a particular pinch point along the route at the intersection of the A4 and A329, which is known locally as Cemetery Junction.
East of this junction the corridor has two narrow lanes westbound and a single narrow lane eastbound. The corridor supports 75,000 people movements per day and in 2014 experienced average daily traffic flows of approximately 22,500 vehicles. The route is heavily constrained and subject to frequent congestion. A reduction in traffic levels at peak times is required.
The proposed location of the Thames Valley Park and Ride site is a triangular, wedge shaped section of land, approximately 1.35 hectares, south of the River Thames and west of the Thames Valley Business Park.
The Park and Ride scheme comprises
- 256 parking bays (including 6 disabled bays and 4 charging bays)
- 2 Park and Ride bus stops for 12m long single decker buses
- Space for motorcycle and cycle parking and
- Bus shelter facilities
It is proposed that the Park and Ride will primarily be used for employment trips into central Reading, to reduce the peak time congestion experienced on the A4 inbound in the AM peak and outbound in the PM peak. The facility would be served by the existing Thames Valley shuttle bus service which operates between the business park and Reading town centre. Currently this service operates empty towards central Reading in the morning and towards Thames Valley Park in the evening. The proposals would therefore utilise the shuttle service’s spare capacity.
The Park and Ride project will help to improve access to Reading along the A4 corridor. This improved access by public transport will help to reduce congestion and support economic growth. Furthermore, between now and 2026 Wokingham Borough is set to deliver 13,000 new homes, of which 4,450 are located surrounding the A329 corridor in Winnersh (450 units), North Wokingham (1,500) and South Wokingham (2,500). The Park and Ride will support this growth by providing additional public transport capacity into central Reading to accommodate the increased usage.
The objectives of the scheme are
- To support the forecast housing growth of 13,000 units by 2026 in Wokingham Borough
- To reduce congestion on the A4 corridor
- To encourage car drivers to access central Reading using public transport and
- To support other park and rides, including Winnersh Triangle Park and Ride
The proposed park and ride site is part of a wider national and local commitment to improve the transport network and to reduce congestion at constrained locations. It has been identified that Reading requires a reduction in congestion levels to enhance the areas economic productivity.
As a result, Reading and Wokingham Borough Council’s have already implemented a range of schemes to reduce congestion on particularly congested links on the road network. These schemes have included the Mereoak Park and Ride on the A33, the Winnersh Park and Ride on Wharfedale Road, the Ready Bike Hire Scheme, a pedestrian / cycle bridge and the regeneration of Reading Railway Station.
These schemes have had considerable success in alleviating congestion in constrained areas and encouraging people to use more sustainable modes of transport.