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Reading Council to officially withdraw Mass Rapid Transit Scheme plans this week

How one part of the scheme would have looked under the plans rejected last month

Reading Borough Council says it's going to officially withdraw its plans for the East Reading Mass Rapid Transit scheme this week.

The local authority says it's going to hold a new public consultation on improving air quality, and put together a new transport plan - saying 'doing nothing is not an option'.

Councillors in Wokingham rejected the scheme for a second time last month over environmental concerns.

That reportedly cost Reading Borough Council £19 million in funding.

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“In light of Wokingham’s second refusal and the removal of LEP funding for the scheme, the Council has decided to officially withdraw its planning application for the new pedestrian, cycle and public transport link in East Reading.

“A great deal has been said about the East Reading MRT proposal, some of it based on genuine concern about the riverside setting of the new route, and some of it based on confusion around the benefits of the scheme. The fact remains, however, that the significant levels of growth Reading will inevitably absorb in the future means we need to find sustainable transport solutions which offer realistic alternatives to the private car.

“The East Reading MRT application offered a walking, cycling and public transport alternative to the thousands of commuters who drive between Wokingham and Reading every day, adding to congestion and poor air quality experienced by residents in Reading. While it has not been possible to progress the scheme, the Council’s own financial investment will certainly not be wasted and will now feed into the development of a new Local Transport Plan for Reading later this year.

“So we will now move on, look forward and engage with people on how these serious issues can be tackled in the future.”

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