Reading Borough Council have just published a consultation on their plans to get more people cycling. The plans include:
- New and improved cycle infrastructure that will aim to bridge gaps between existing barriers, including the railway and River Thames
- Cycle hire will give people that do not currently have access to a bicycle the opportunity to cycle to key destinations
- Increased cycle parking facilities to enable to people to park closer to more key destinations
The new cycle hire scheme similar to London’s ‘Boris Bikes’ is the eye-catching proposal with 200 bikes across 29 docking sites, including Reading Station, Broad Street (including by the Oracle and Broad Street Mall), Thames Valley Park, University of Reading, Madejski Stadium, Green Park and Caversham. The first half-hour of use will be free which means once register, short trips won’t cost you a penny. To rent a bike, users tap in their PIN or touch their card and, once the selected bike has been chosen at the console, a light on top of the selected lock will begin to flash meaning it is ready to use. To return a bike, the user only has to insert their bike into any empty lock at any station. The lock will accept the bike and automatically close the open rental period for that user on an electronic system. Members can keep a constant check on their personal account at a Reading-specific Hourbike website.
A thorough review of the cycling infrastructure is taking place with better road markings and improved lighting on the cards. There are also plans to encourage training, more businesses to promote cycling to work, and a crackdown on cyclists who abuse footpaths and ride without lights.