Monday 11 Feb 2019
Traffic bottleneck in Reading to be removed after railway bridge upgrade
Reading is set to benefit as one of the town’s most notorious traffic bottlenecks will be removed following an upgrade to two railway bridges.
The upgrade to the bridges on Cow Lane means that from 10am on Monday 25 February, the busy road will have two-way traffic without traffic lights for the first time ever. The joint project by Network Rail and Reading Borough Council also means higher vehicles such as buses and lorries can use the road for the first time. This will create a safer and more pleasant local environment for residents and businesses along the Oxford Road.
To allow resurfacing of the road, Cow Lane will be closed to all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists from 10pm on Friday 22 February through to 10am on Monday 25 February. Network Rail is writing to local residents and businesses about the closure and diversionary signs will be in place.
Following the opening of the road at Cow Lane, work will continue to also create a new dedicated pedestrian and cycle route. During this time, traffic will use the new road whilst pedestrians and cyclists will be able to use the ‘old’ bridge to pass through safely. Cyclists will be encouraged to dismount due to limited space available while the works are also ongoing, or alternatively can use the new carriageway. The pedestrian and cycle route is expected to be complete by the summer before this year’s Reading Festival.
Jamie Davies, head of programme integration at Network Rail, said: “We are really pleased that together with Reading Borough Council we have been able to deliver this important project that will make a real difference to the people of Reading.
“Unblocking this traffic bottleneck will further improve connectivity around Reading station.
“We thank everyone for their patience whilst we delivered this upgrade.”
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “The removal of Reading’s most notorious bottleneck marks a major landmark for the town. For the first time ever two-way traffic will be able to pass through Cow Lane without the need for traffic lights. The removal of the height restriction is just as significant, as it opens the route up for lorries and potentially for double decker buses.
“For the many thousands of vehicle trips that are just passing through west Reading, Cow Lane will now become an important new route. It will mean this traffic can be diverted away from the Oxford Road, creating a safer and more welcoming environment for residents and businesses in the area.
“It is also important to note that work will continue after February 25 to create the new pedestrian and cycle route under the bridges, which will be a key feature of the final completed scheme.”
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.