Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Government backs mad Reading Council scheme

According to the BBC here Reading Borough Council will receive £6.5m from central government next year to develop its transport strategy. According to Reading Borough that is enough to enable it to proceed with its barking mad plans to convert its Inner Distribution Road (IDR) into an anti-clockwise route.

Details from Reading Borough Council of their plan to make the IDR one way can be found here.

Local Liberal Democrats have opposed the scheme and the Leaders of the Liberal Democrat Groups on Reading Borough Council, Wokingham District Council, West Berkshire Council and Oxfordshire County Council issued a joint statement on this back in September prior to the meeting where Reading Borough decided to proceed with this scheme. The joint statement read as follows:

Liberal Democrat Councillors from Reading, Wokingham, West Berkshire and South Oxfordshire all believe that the proposals by Reading Borough Council's ruling Labour group to turn Reading's inner ring road (the IDR) one-way are flawed and need to be put on hold to allow essential consultation to take place to see if the scheme is viable in any form.

It is clear that Reading has not seriously considered the objections that were submitted formally and with due process.

Many of these are concerned not just at the hopelessly inadequate consultation process, but on the significant increase in traffic flow the IDR plans will have on neighbouring communities. Labour-controlled Reading Borough Council has not fully evaluated these, nor has it produced proposals for mitigation.

The lack of engagement with the public for Thursday's council meeting has been consistent with the Labour-led council's failure to respect the legitimate concerns of citizens and groups in Reading and neighbouring councils.

The Liberal Democrats are the only major party which has opposed the one-way IDR from the outset. We all share concerns about this scheme which ducks the key transport issues affecting Reading today

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