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Question to council: William Marshal

Richard Stainthorp to ask the Lead Councillor for Culture Heritage and Recreation: William Marshal As I am sure the Lead Councillor is awar...

10 Sept 2014

Cow Lane delay?

When we found about about the possible delay to the works at Cow Lane Bridges Councillor Chris Maskell wrote this on his Facebook page.  He explains how we feel well so I have no more to add:

'Public Inquiry into Cow Lane Bridges

It is possible that the road works linking the two Cow Lane bridges could be delayed for up to a year. A number of objections have been recieved from land owners who had been served compulsory purchase orders. The CPO's had been served to facilitate the building of a road that would link the two new Cow Lane bridges and finally remove the infamous bottleneck.

As a result of the objections the Secretary of State for Transport has confirmed it will be necessary to hold a Public Inquiry. This has therefore delayed the construction programme for the Cow Lane Highway works by approximately 12 months.

Reading Borough Council officers have said negotiations with the objectors are on-going and there is a possibility that if the proposed agreements are approved and the objections withdrawn, the Public Inquiry will not be required.

It is a shame that this has happened but it is entirely understandable that some land owners felt the need to object. Hopefully, RBC and the landowners can come to an agreement that will allow the project to be delivered on time.

I am not sure when Portman Road, Cow Lane and Richfield Avenue were linked up but since that time the short stretch of road between the two bridges has bee a source of complaint from pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike.

Any delay to the completion of Cow Lane will impact on the work we are doing to improve the Oxford Road. The first phase of work can still go ahead as scheduled. The second phase will be determined by monitoring the impact the opening up of Cow Lane has on traffic flows during its first year. Any delay will impact on this second phase.

Battle councillors have been campaigning to get the bridges sorted out since 2004. We were looking forward to the opening up of Cow Lane next summer, unfortunately that may now not be possible.

When we first floated the idea that something could be done many people looked to the heavens and said: "not in your life time mate". Well, it will happen but if it takes a year longer than anticipated, so be it. Another 12 months added to the forty or so years people have been waiting for Cow Lane to be sorted out will be 12 months well spent.'

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