Back in 1999, PBA, in partnership with Reading Borough Council, created a 2020 vision for the Reading urban area, that identified a transport strategy to support strong economic growth and reduce reliance on car travel.
Much of this strategy has now been funded and/ or delivered, including M4 junction 11 with bus priority lanes, major station and interchange upgrades, Christchurch Bridge and a future Green Park station.
Mass Rapid Transit is now the focus of investment, delivering a segregated fasttrack public transport network for the urban area, connecting park-and-ride sites to the town centre and stations. PBA prepared a full business case for phases 1 and 2 of the scheme and was awarded £4.5m of Local Growth Fund by Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) along with Reading Borough Council’s local contribution.
Phases 1 and 2 will provide segregated bus links to connect the existing bus lanes through M4 Junction 11, and the recently constructed Mereoak park-and-ride facility from the A33 Island Road junction to GreenPark junction north bound. The route will improve journey times and reliability of service.
The design and construction of Phase 1a was successfully completed in 2016. PBA was also commissioned to design and project manage the construction of Phases 1b and 2. Construction commenced in March 2017.
Phases 1b and 2 include the introduction of a southbound bus lane by widening the existing carriageway, and the addition of a dedicated lane bypassing at South Oak Way Roundabout. We successfully overcame challenges to construct the new bus lane close to an existing watercourse while maintaining the ecological habitat. The schemes were also carefully designed to minimise the impact on utility diversions and delays to motorists.
PBA has also secured Local Growth Deal Funds for Phases 3 and 4 of South MRT and East MRT. We have been commissioned to progress the design of the South MRT, providing an extension to the MRT network with later phases completing the connections through to the town centre.