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Major Reading cross-town route becomes two-way for the first time

The Cow Lane Railway bridges have long been a notorious 'bottleneck' linking West & North Reading, but work on a project that has seen the road widened and lowered has now been completed.

The new road was officially opened by the Mayor of Reading Debs Edwards in a ceremony watched over by councillors and Network rail officials. 

Reading Borough Council's deputy leader Tony Page says it's a significant day and one he described as a 'pipe dream' when he first became a councillor more than 40 year ago.

The significance of the bus is because the council say they'll now work with Reading buses to see if a bus route can be developed to use the Cow Lane bridges (now that it is high enough to take them), they also hope that buses on the Oxford Road will benefit from slightly less traffic.

The project was due to be finished last summer but the construction team discovered un-charted cables including a large high-voltage cable, they then struggled with water levels as they dug down 5 metres to make the road accessible for buses and lorries. A pump has now been installed under the road to remove water. 

Below shows how the bridge used to look before it was demolished

Cow Lane edit

There's still work to be completed though - this will become a new pedestrian and cycle route:

Below: the first vehicles enjoying two-way and traffic-light free movement for the first time ever 

Words, video and pictures by Jonathan Richards

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