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Reading council to review ‘door zone’ cycle lanes

Puts a ‘pause’ on any future advisory cycle lanes until after the review

Reading council are to review two advisory cycle lanes following repeated criticism from campaigners, reports Get Reading. The lanes have been painted on the outside of car parking bays and critics say that in both cases cyclists are at risk of having car doors opened in their path.

Simon Beasley, network manager for Reading Borough Council said that the council would be reviewing the two schemes – in Wokingham Road in East Reading and Lower Henley Road in Caversham – but emphasised that they had “weighed up the balance of risk” when adding the lanes in the first place.

Beasley made a distinction between a parking bay in front of a parade of shops where cars would be pulling in and out all the time and areas of ‘static’ residential parking, such as these. However, campaigners are firm in their view that both schemes are highly dangerous and that the roads in question would be safer without them.

In August, a cycle lane was added to Lower Henley Road and Adrian Lawson from Reading Cycle Campaign was quick to brand it ‘disgraceful’.

Speaking to the Reading Chronicle at the time, he said:

“Government notes say you shouldn’t put in a cycle lane if it is going to make matters more dangerous. But because the lane is so narrow and there is no buffer zone, it is extremely hazardous. A cyclist without training will put themselves at great risk.”

Reading Borough Council spokesman, Oscar Mortali, responded by saying the cycle lane was purely advisory and that both cyclists and motorists needed to be aware of each other’s presence. He then urged drivers opening car doors to check for cyclists in their wing mirrors ‘as required by the Highway Code’.

Last month, we reported how another similar lane had been created, this time east of the town centre on Wokingham Road. Reading Cycle Campaign were again unhappy, pointing out that the lane had been made against the advice of local cyclists and in contradiction of both the council’s own Cycle Strategy 2014 and the Department for Transport’s guidelines.

Chairman of the council’s traffic management committee, Tony Page, said there would be a ‘pause’ on any further advisory cycle lanes until after the two cases had been reviewed and a report on the cost of removing them produced. The issue is now due to be revisited at the committee’s June meeting.

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