Sunday, 26 September 2021

MP: scheme is full of holes

HENLEY MP John Howell said Reading and Wokingham councils were unlikely to secure the £750,000 needed to fund a more detailed study from the Government.

He said the proposal was “shot full of holes” and criticised Reading East MP Matt Rodda, who supports the scheme, for claiming it was likely to go ahead.

He said: “Mr Rodda has caused a lot of concern but the only common ground at our last meeting was that we want more detail on things like stress testing and modelling over a wider area.

“There are limitations on the work carried out so far and the suggestion that a bridge could be built in five years is absolutely rubbish.

“This is not just a project for Reading as many people in South Oxfordshire are affected by the difficulties of trying to cross the river so it would be great to find a solution that works for everyone. Theresa May, the Maidenhead MP, has an interest in stopping the build-up of traffic at Sonning so she is as keen as anyone here to take this forward.

“However, there’s no point in simply building a bridge because where does the traffic go from there? You need the surrounding road network for it to make sense.”

He said the idea of a bridge was still an “airy-fairy” idea and he had cancelled the last meeting of the group as it was “quite clear” there was no more money available for the project.

Mr Rodda said: “The proposal for a local road bridge with a cycling and bus lane would reduce traffic and air pollution in Henley, Caversham and Sonning.

“Research shows it would also reduce delays for residents in villages getting to nearby towns. In addition, traffic restrictions could be introduced to stop long-distance lorries and other traffic which currently take shortcuts through our area.”

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