COP26

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ChipbuttyG
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COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Having seen there was a climate march in Reading on Saturday....

What more could be done in Reading to reduce our carbon footprint?

I'll start with

A decent cycle infrastructure.
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windrush
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Re: COP26

Post by windrush »

Maybe a move to Hastings? (Other places are available).

Pete.
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Let's keep on topic.
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MickEdge
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Re: COP26

Post by MickEdge »

ChipbuttyG wrote: A decent cycle infrastructure.
I’m all for improving cycling in Reading, but surely it will come at the expense of increased congestion and longer journey times for other vehicles. It would be nice to think that this will force enough on to bikes and others to avoid Reading altogether, so as to make a real environmental difference and make central parts much nicer, but too many people avoiding the town may well have unacceptable negative economic consequences. And realistically, how many can you persuade to use a bike regularly, as many are simply not willing or able to use a bike. The bike rental scheme wasn’t a success. Cycle infrastructure costs money, which can only come from central government. Recently, the council canvassed residents on four possible schemes, with only money for one, which I will go ahead. It’s a good start, but what more could be done.
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Re: COP26

Post by Mayfield »

Gosh, if I had known that Barack Obama was going to be at COP I may have made the trip …..😉
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

MickEdge wrote: 08 Nov 2021 15:20
ChipbuttyG wrote: A decent cycle infrastructure.
I’m all for improving cycling in Reading, but surely it will come at the expense of increased congestion and longer journey times for other vehicles. It would be nice to think that this will force enough on to bikes and others to avoid Reading altogether, so as to make a real environmental difference and make central parts much nicer, but too many people avoiding the town may well have unacceptable negative economic consequences. And realistically, how many can you persuade to use a bike regularly, as many are simply not willing or able to use a bike. The bike rental scheme wasn’t a success. Cycle infrastructure costs money, which can only come from central government. Recently, the council canvassed residents on four possible schemes, with only money for one, which I will go ahead. It’s a good start, but what more could be done.
The council should have had a plan in place long ago for a linked up network of proper cycle lanes around the town and slowly integrated them as and when funding allows. It's well known, one massive oversight from the council was not including cycle lanes when Vastern Road was re-done due to the train station upgrade. That could have been a good starting point.

Instead, they wasted a lot of money from central Government for the active travel scheme, such as two painted lines on Reading bridge, which has made it even more dangerous for cyclists.
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Re: COP26

Post by OLDMAN »

As someone who cycles I have never found n a problem with Readings cycling system with one exception

A lot of stubborn cyclists don't actually use it and stay on the road, even when there is a cyle path alongside some of those roads
I'd hate to say how many times I've passed some when using a cycle path as they try and negotiate traffic on the road itself - morons!
And even more when I've been in the car about town
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

OLDMAN wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:14 As someone who cycles I have never found n a problem with Readings cycling system with one exception
The majority of people in Reading cycling campaign groups are in no doubt the cycling infrastructure in Reading is abysmal.
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Re: COP26

Post by KeithW »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:18
OLDMAN wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:14 As someone who cycles I have never found n a problem with Readings cycling system with one exception
The majority of people in Reading cycling campaign groups are in no doubt the cycling infrastructure in Reading is abysmal.
Do you cycle?
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

KeithW wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:25
ChipbuttyG wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:18
OLDMAN wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:14 As someone who cycles I have never found n a problem with Readings cycling system with one exception
The majority of people in Reading cycling campaign groups are in no doubt the cycling infrastructure in Reading is abysmal.
Do you cycle?
Occasionally.
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OLDMAN
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Re: COP26

Post by OLDMAN »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:18
OLDMAN wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:14 As someone who cycles I have never found n a problem with Readings cycling system with one exception
The majority of people in Reading cycling campaign groups are in no doubt the cycling infrastructure in Reading is abysmal.
Ah you mean the same cycling groups that wanted (and still do) to ban motorcycle and regulate the times that buses could use BUS LANES (but never mentioned cabs?) so they could get exclusive use of them - but then rarely use them anyway as they say the have a 'right to be on the road'?
Hate to say but a I have quite a few friends in local cycle groups who have no problems with it all, but its the groups leaders who seem to have an insane strategy of their own to make everywhere just for cyclists and nothing else!
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

OLDMAN wrote: 09 Nov 2021 10:23
ChipbuttyG wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:18
OLDMAN wrote: 09 Nov 2021 09:14 As someone who cycles I have never found n a problem with Readings cycling system with one exception
The majority of people in Reading cycling campaign groups are in no doubt the cycling infrastructure in Reading is abysmal.
Ah you mean the same cycling groups that wanted (and still do) to ban motorcycle and regulate the times that buses could use BUS LANES (but never mentioned cabs?) so they could get exclusive use of them - but then rarely use them anyway as they say the have a 'right to be on the road'?
Hate to say but a I have quite a few friends in local cycle groups who have no problems with it all, but its the groups leaders who seem to have an insane strategy of their own to make everywhere just for cyclists and nothing else!
OM - I appreciate people have different opinions but c'mon. I very much doubt there is anyone out there who doesn't have a problem with the cycling infrastructure in Reading, except those who never get on a bike.

Whilst I appreciate there are some cycle 'nazi's' out there who would gladly close the roads to all motor vehicles, it's about striking a good balance. To encourage people to cycle more.

For me. Cycling down the Oxford Road is dangerous. Portman Road isn't ideal due to the shared nature of the path. When you get to Cow Lane you're then supposed to cross over the road and use the cycle path which is situated to the right under Cow Lane Bridge. There is no joined up thinking.
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Re: COP26

Post by bert »

I cycle and drive - I'm always amazed at how many drivers just drive merrily along in cycle paths (especially up and along Silver Street/Mount Pleasant/Christchurch Road), even when the road is quite wide.

Ideally, properly segregated cycle paths would really make a big difference to the number of people that cycle, but the cost/logistics/space issues make it impossible I suppose. I agree with ChipbuttyG that when a road is re-done and is really wide (like Vastern Road) it would be sensible to include a properly segregated cycle path. A white line marked cycle path is better than nothing I suppose, but the drivers in this town mean I'd worry about my kids using them (they're too young to use them at the moment).
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Re: COP26

Post by KeithW »

bert wrote: 09 Nov 2021 11:33 I cycle and drive - I'm always amazed at how many drivers just drive merrily along in cycle paths (especially up and along Silver Street/Mount Pleasant/Christchurch Road), even when the road is quite wide.

<snip>
DSCF0760c.jpg
[In Reading Cemetery - I posted this before, but it does seem apposite.]
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

bert wrote: 09 Nov 2021 11:33 I cycle and drive - I'm always amazed at how many drivers just drive merrily along in cycle paths (especially up and along Silver Street/Mount Pleasant/Christchurch Road), even when the road is quite wide.

Ideally, properly segregated cycle paths would really make a big difference to the number of people that cycle, but the cost/logistics/space issues make it impossible I suppose. I agree with ChipbuttyG that when a road is re-done and is really wide (like Vastern Road) it would be sensible to include a properly segregated cycle path. A white line marked cycle path is better than nothing I suppose, but the drivers in this town mean I'd worry about my kids using them (they're too young to use them at the moment).

I agree Bert. Painted cycle lanes are better than nothing but I regularly see drivers who seem to have no road/lane discipline driving in them. Also I often seen delivery drivers using them to park and block off the cycle lane. The lanes on Reading Bridge are too narrow which seems to have given motorist carte blanche to overtake cyclists whereas before they'd hold back more.

Segregated cycle lanes are the ideal, but as previously stated these were omitted from the plans for Vastern Road, which would have been a great starting point and then further lanes rolled out as and when funding allows. Of course, that didn't happen.

The council are very much, whack a white line here and there and painted picture of a bicycle on the tarmac, that'll do.
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Re: COP26

Post by bert »

KeithW - I guess some things never change! That's a fascinating headstone, thanks.
ChipbuttyG wrote: 09 Nov 2021 12:10The lanes on Reading Bridge are too narrow which seems to have given motorist carte blanche to overtake cyclists whereas before they'd hold back more.
Yep, I have seen and experienced that too.

Going back to the wider COP26 - I did find some of the hypocrisy a bit absurd. Rishi Sunak holding up his new fangled green budget suitcase for a nice photo opportunity a week or two after halving the tax on domestic flights. Why is it often cheaper to fly than get the train in this country? Daft.

I think we're still at the point where 'leaders' aren't taking this stuff seriously. 'Sustainability' feels mainly like a marketing tick box which corporations/government are happy to comply with so long as it doesn't affect their bottom line.
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Re: COP26

Post by OLDMAN »

KeithW wrote: 09 Nov 2021 11:47
bert wrote: 09 Nov 2021 11:33 I cycle and drive - I'm always amazed at how many drivers just drive merrily along in cycle paths (especially up and along Silver Street/Mount Pleasant/Christchurch Road), even when the road is quite wide.

<snip>
DSCF0760c.jpg

[In Reading Cemetery - I posted this before, but it does seem apposite.]
I've oft wonder 'what' knocked him off as it was back in 1908 so not much traffic about then
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

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Re: COP26

Post by MickEdge »

I can see the point of a separate cycle lane on a road, but not on wide pavements, like Vastern Rd. It’s fine as it is. I cycle on it. It’s the roundabouts that are a big risk for cyclists. Giving cyclists carte blanche to zoom along their own lane on a pavement is hazardous for pedestrians, especially those with physical handicaps. Pedestrians don’t think in lanes when walking about. Just look at where it’s been tried and failed during Covid. Without their own lane, cyclists are more likely to be watchful of pedestrians, knowing they are sharing the same space. Something similar applies to motorists and road lanes, although I’m not advocating removing lanes. What we should do is educate drivers to have more of a give and take approach and not to treat the lane they are in as their own personal territory, believing others must be aware of them. I’d advocate cutting the speed limit in all busy urban roads throughout towns, not just in side streets. That way more will feel safer cycling. Ok, vehicle journeys will be slower, but not that much. I find 20mph limits frustrating, but that’s because I’m not used to them.
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

MickEdge wrote: 09 Nov 2021 17:11 I can see the point of a separate cycle lane on a road, but not on wide pavements, like Vastern Rd. It’s fine as it is. I cycle on it. It’s the roundabouts that are a big risk for cyclists. Giving cyclists carte blanche to zoom along their own lane on a pavement is hazardous for pedestrians, especially those with physical handicaps. Pedestrians don’t think in lanes when walking about. Just look at where it’s been tried and failed during Covid. Without their own lane, cyclists are more likely to be watchful of pedestrians, knowing they are sharing the same space. Something similar applies to motorists and road lanes, although I’m not advocating removing lanes. What we should do is educate drivers to have more of a give and take approach and not to treat the lane they are in as their own personal territory, believing others must be aware of them. I’d advocate cutting the speed limit in all busy urban roads throughout towns, not just in side streets. That way more will feel safer cycling. Ok, vehicle journeys will be slower, but not that much. I find 20mph limits frustrating, but that’s because I’m not used to them.
Yep Vastern Road is a cycling haven. The shared cycle path that disappears by the retail park slip road is delight. If you're looking for an idyllic cycling area, Vastern Road is it.
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Re: COP26

Post by chris_j_wood »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 09 Nov 2021 12:10 [Segregated cycle lanes are the ideal, but as previously stated these were omitted from the plans for Vastern Road, which would have been a great starting point and then further lanes rolled out as and when funding allows. Of course, that didn't happen.
Agreed, but the current layout of Vastern Road dates back to 1989. It probably should have had cycle lanes even back then, but the Tory run Berkshire County Council (responsible for Reading's roads prior to 1998) generally preferred to spend its money on Tory voting parts of the county.

There was some subsequent tinkering at the time the new station was opened, with a new traffic light controlled intersection and the conversion of the never-used approach lanes for the never-built Napier Road flyover into new use (largely bus lanes). But most of the road and its flanking pavements were unaffected by that.
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

chris_j_wood wrote: 10 Nov 2021 08:47
ChipbuttyG wrote: 09 Nov 2021 12:10 [Segregated cycle lanes are the ideal, but as previously stated these were omitted from the plans for Vastern Road, which would have been a great starting point and then further lanes rolled out as and when funding allows. Of course, that didn't happen.
Agreed, but the current layout of Vastern Road dates back to 1989. It probably should have had cycle lanes even back then, but the Tory run Berkshire County Council (responsible for Reading's roads prior to 1998) generally preferred to spend its money on Tory voting parts of the county.

There was some subsequent tinkering at the time the new station was opened, with a new traffic light controlled intersection and the conversion of the never-used approach lanes for the never-built Napier Road flyover into new use (largely bus lanes). But most of the road and its flanking pavements were unaffected by that.

The current layout dates back to 2014 when the redeveloped station opened.
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Re: COP26

Post by OLDMAN »

From a few development meetings I went to I know there were no full plans to put cycle lanes along Vastern Rd apart from shared paths, mainly as it wasn’t seen as a ‘commute route’ – most people are going N/S-S/N in the area
Also there was talk of a route from Christchurch Bridge that would cut straight through the old S&SE place and across Vastern Rd to the station so a route from/to the Caversham side - its why there is a cycle route under the station to Station Hill etc

But that through route never got put in as the S&SE area still hasn’t been sorted out
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Re: COP26

Post by chris_j_wood »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 10 Nov 2021 09:01 The current layout dates back to 2014 when the redeveloped station opened.
Not to any great extent it doesn't. The main traffic lanes and the roundabouts at each end are in exactly the same position as they were in 1989. The kerb line is mostly in the same place and the pavements occupy the same space. The only significant difference is that the large space in the centre of the road (some tarmaced and cross-hatched, some grassed) that was originally intended for the flyover has been converted into an eastbound off-side bus lane. The old Post Office entrance has been replaced with a rather larger traffic light controlled junction, and a smallish lay-by (for taxis?) added behind the car park.

Other than that, I think everything has been resurfaced, and a few street trees added, but that is hardly a change to the layout.

I should add that I occupied a desk in Sovereign House looking out onto that road for a goodly chunk of the noughties, so I'm pretty familiar with what was there before 2014.
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Re: COP26

Post by OLDMAN »

chris_j_wood wrote: 10 Nov 2021 14:00
ChipbuttyG wrote: 10 Nov 2021 09:01 The current layout dates back to 2014 when the redeveloped station opened.
Not to any great extent it doesn't. The main traffic lanes and the roundabouts at each end are in exactly the same position as they were in 1989. The kerb line is mostly in the same place and the pavements occupy the same space. The only significant difference is that the large space in the centre of the road (some tarmaced and cross-hatched, some grassed) that was originally intended for the flyover has been converted into an eastbound off-side bus lane. The old Post Office entrance has been replaced with a rather larger traffic light controlled junction, and a smallish lay-by (for taxis?) added behind the car park.

Other than that, I think everything has been resurfaced, and a few street trees added, but that is hardly a change to the layout.

I should add that I occupied a desk in Sovereign House looking out onto that road for a goodly chunk of the noughties, so I'm pretty familiar with what was there before 2014.
I agree, only ‘major’ change I’ve ever known was when they built the roundabout at Reading Bridge end about early-mid 80’s– it was a light controlled junction before that
The rest has been as you stated
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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

chris_j_wood wrote: 10 Nov 2021 14:00
ChipbuttyG wrote: 10 Nov 2021 09:01 The current layout dates back to 2014 when the redeveloped station opened.
Not to any great extent it doesn't. The main traffic lanes and the roundabouts at each end are in exactly the same position as they were in 1989. The kerb line is mostly in the same place and the pavements occupy the same space. The only significant difference is that the large space in the centre of the road (some tarmaced and cross-hatched, some grassed) that was originally intended for the flyover has been converted into an eastbound off-side bus lane. The old Post Office entrance has been replaced with a rather larger traffic light controlled junction, and a smallish lay-by (for taxis?) added behind the car park.

Other than that, I think everything has been resurfaced, and a few street trees added, but that is hardly a change to the layout.

I should add that I occupied a desk in Sovereign House looking out onto that road for a goodly chunk of the noughties, so I'm pretty familiar with what was there before 2014.
Probably the worst blame it on the Tories shout ever though. The Labour run council could have put cycle lanes in, back in 2014. They didn't.
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Re: COP26

Post by OLDMAN »

And I commented a bit further back why they didn’t put them in!
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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

OLDMAN wrote: 11 Nov 2021 09:13 And I commented a bit further back why they didn’t put them in!
It's not seen as a commute route because it's dangerous for cyclists. Also accessing Vastern Road via Cav Road or Reading Bridge by bicycle is dangerous.

Build the infrastructure and they will come.
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Re: COP26

Post by OLDMAN »

But the are is already covered with cycle routes - one 'along' Vastern Rd wouldn't really add to it - hence why they didn't bother but............

Looking at the map they do have he one from Christchurch Bridge to the railway station marked even though not there yet!.......oopppppsssss...........

http://www.reading-travelinfo.co.uk/med ... 16_web.pdf
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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: COP26

Post by chris_j_wood »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 11 Nov 2021 08:34 Probably the worst blame it on the Tories shout ever though.
I'll happily accept that it is not in the same league as your incessant stream of 'blame it on the council' shouts, which we all know are dog-whistles for 'blame it on Labour'. I'm not averse to blaming Labour, I'm no supporter, but it does get a bit boring after a while, so I thought I'd spice it up by blaming a different but equally derisible party.
ChipbuttyG wrote: 11 Nov 2021 08:34 The Labour run council could have put cycle lanes in, back in 2014. They didn't.
Where?.

As I said in my post this was no new road, just some clearly defined changes within the existing envelope. As the kerb lines and building lines have not changed, they could not have put them there. They could, I suppose, have foresworn the bus lane and instead put a two-way cycle lane in the central reservation of the eastern two-thirds of the road (where the space was and the bus lane is). But that would have meant abandoning the cyclists in the outside lane of the dual carriageway on the approach to the roundabouts. And I can just imagine the opprobrium you would (rightly) heap on the council if they had done that.
Last edited by chris_j_wood on 11 Nov 2021 13:16, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: COP26

Post by Fed-up »

That Reading Cycling map is over 5 years old and doesn't even have Hatch Farm Way in Lower Earley/Winnersh on it!
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Re: COP26

Post by OLDMAN »

Fed-up wrote: 11 Nov 2021 13:02 That Reading Cycling map is over 5 years old and doesn't even have Hatch Farm Way in Lower Earley/Winnersh on it!
It must have been that long ago I told them and it was updated and i know what changes where made at the time - but it obviously needs doing again

The stupidest mistake I pointed out was going past our house as it then showed it going straight on - but to do that would mean climbing over fences / crossing peoples gardens!

TBH I only realised when a group of cyclists were sat in the road looking rather puzzled and I helped direct them - the route goers right down a road before our bit then left along the road to Church Rd where they can go left or right and continue on dependant where they want to go
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

chris_j_wood wrote: 11 Nov 2021 13:00
ChipbuttyG wrote: 11 Nov 2021 08:34 Probably the worst blame it on the Tories shout ever though.
I'll happily accept that it is not in the same league as your incessant stream of 'blame it on the council' shouts, which we all know are dog-whistles for 'blame it on Labour'. I'm not averse to blaming Labour, I'm no supporter, but it does get a bit boring after a while, so I thought I'd spice it up by blaming a different but equally derisible party.
ChipbuttyG wrote: 11 Nov 2021 08:34 The Labour run council could have put cycle lanes in, back in 2014. They didn't.
Where?.

As I said in my post this was no new road, just some clearly defined changes within the existing envelope. As the kerb lines and building lines have not changed, they could not have put them there. They could, I suppose, have foresworn the bus lane and instead put a two-way cycle lane in the central reservation of the eastern two-thirds of the road (where the space was and the bus lane is). But that would have meant abandoning the cyclists in the outside lane of the dual carriageway on the approach to the roundabouts. And I can just imagine the opprobrium you would (rightly) heap on the council if they had done that.
Vastern Road is one of the widest roads in Reading and would easily accommodate segregated cycle lanes. You make it sound like it's an old, narrow, cobbled street.
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Re: COP26

Post by ChipbuttyG »

The Greens have suggested free bus travel for everybody in Reading to stop people using their cars...

https://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news ... -rejected/
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Re: COP26

Post by Fed-up »

Interesting idea, but not sure how the council can afford to pay for this.

Also, as Reading Buses cross a number of council borders, how do you decide which passengers travel free? Is it on any route they travel, or only within RBC borders, or only for for people who live/work in Reading?

Sounds like a poorly thought out, headline grabbing idea.
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Re: COP26

Post by OLDMAN »

Biggest problem with any of these ‘green’ ideas is they don’t really work for the average person

Many like myself have to travel as the work done isn’t ‘local’ due to the industry I am in – in 48yrs of working I’ve never had a job that was nearer than 12miles, and the longest was 60miles away -I have had a few interviews more local but then never got the job, wish I had so I could reduce my commuting
Looking at my commute now - I drive 17miles / take 30mins each way and I use just under a gallon per day, with wear and tear that’s roughly £6:50 per day (less if I use the motorbike)
Public Transport – Walk / Bus / Walk / Train / Walk or bus for 90mins each way (40mins of that is walking and possibly in the rain etc) at a cost of £15:00 per day ( about £12 if using season tickets)

No brainer which is better
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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