Reading residents express views on town centre’s new one-way system

A “WASTE of time” and “ridiculous” are just two ways Reading town centre’s new one-way system has been described by readers.

The new one-way walking systems have been introduced by Reading Borough Council on streets including Union Street, Oxford Road by Broad Street Mall, Station Road and the station subway.

Pictures taken across the town show white arrows, “one way” and “no entry” signs have been painted onto pathways urging people to walk in the right direction.

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However, the new system has been criticised by readers with one commenting “this is the most ridiculous thing I have seen yet.”

Another added: “Was in town yesterday and noticed the new markings….no one taking any notice so complete waste of time and money.”

Red “Covid-19 keep apart” signs have also been placed on lampposts reminding people to socially distance when visiting the town centre.

Readers appear sceptical of the new one-way system with one saying it “will never work” and another added: “How on earth will that work for blind people?!”

Whilst another said: “People can’t even follow the instructions in the supermarket so you really think they will do this?”

Another reader thought it was a “great idea” but said “a lot of people will not follow it”.

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Councillor Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “A small number of pedestrian one-way systems have been introduced in the town centre by Reading Borough Council as part of a group of wider measures to allow the town to reopen as safely as possible in line with Government guidance from Monday 15th June.

“At those narrow areas which can become pinch points, one-way systems are the most effective way to help pedestrian traffic move as freely and safely as possible.

“Other social distancing measures, such as 2m painted markers and barriers near bus stops, have also been introduced around the town.

“We have been working closely with Reading UK and town centre businesses ahead of making these changes.

“They will be kept under review and, if necessary, amendments will be made to respond to any specific problems.”

He continued: “Reading Borough Council has directly communicated these changes to Reading Association for the Blind, Access and Disabilities working group and Reading Guide Dogs.

“Funding for the new social distancing measures is being provided by the European Regional Development Fund through its Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.”

As well as signs, the council is implementing a disinfectant clean in June of more than 39,000 square feet of public space.

There will also be cleaning teams out every day to ensure the town centre remains as clean and hygienic as possible.

Visitors to the town centre are being asked bring their own hand sanitiser, while businesses will also provide sanitiser at their shop entrances when they reopen on June 15.