The plug was pulled yesterday on a scheme in Caversham aimed at encouraging walking and cycling during the Covid-19 pandemic which caused traffic chaos.
Temporary one-way restrictions were introduced on Gosbrook Road and Westfield Road on Monday (August 24) as part of Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) government-funded temporary active travel schemes to help with social distancing.
But yesterday (Wednesday, September 2), just a week after the scheme went live, the council decided to remove the one-way system.
More than a thousand residents opposed the “nightmare” scheme, with complaints coming from those who walk, cycle and drive, as well as local businesses.
RBC has now revealed the one-way system on the two roads, funded by the government’s emergency active travel fund, cost £45,000.
However, it says £30,000 of this money, spent on the infrastructure, can be used for other schemes.
This means £15,000 was wasted.
Caversham ward councillors met with angry residents last weekend and decided to oppose the scheme, leading to a rethink from the council’s leadership.
Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport at RBC, has apologised for the disruption and inconvenience caused to residents and local businesses in Caversham.
He added: “The scheme was well intentioned to make travelling by bike or walking easier in response to the pandemic, which was important in the narrow pavements and streets of Caversham.
“It has quickly become apparent there is a lack of local support for the scheme which is why we are moving quickly this week to revert to the previous road layout.”