Wednesday, 30 July 2014

East Reading park-and-ride and link road hotting up (unfortunately) #rdguk

Things had started to quieten down with the East Reading park-and-ride and link road scheme (map here) but in the last month or so a few significant things have happened.

Firstly the government has made a funding announcement. Fortunately East Reading park-and-ride and the link road were not included in the immediate funding. However funding has been promised from 2016/17 onwards.

This funding will be dependent on a successful planning application and a business case which stacks up. In a separate funding bid to the government, Wokingham Council have unfortunately secured some money to do the planning application work.

This is bad news for the Thames Side area and will represent a wasted opportunity of being able to spend this money on sustainable transport solutions.

So what next?

I have asked for an update from Reading’s transport planners on the things mentioned above.

I think it is time to have another small meeting of interested residents to plan the next steps of the campaign to defend the Thames Side and tackle congestion in a sustainable way.

What do others think?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Burglaries in East Reading, remember to double lock your front door #rdguk

I got this from the police:

Over the past few days there has been two burglaries in East Reading where entry has been gained via UPVC front door.

Thursday 24th-Friday 25th July 23..30-07.28 Overnight in Melrose Avenue:

Unknown offender has gained entry via front door and various property stolen including a vehicle.

Monday 28th July 13.10-17.15 in Hamilton Road :

Unknown offender has gained entry via UPVC door via the letterbox and stole Asian Gold jewellery.

Please remind your NHW members about double locking their UPVC front doors and please report any suspicious incidents, sightings or any information to The Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101 quoting URN1157 28/7/14.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Appeal for witnesses, Wokingham Road cyclist/car collision #rdguk

Don't know what happened, but there is a lot going on at this point on the Wokingham Road. We will definitely keep pushing for safer roads for walking and cycling. If you saw anything please contact the police:

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses after a road traffic collision in Reading yesterday (27/7).

The collision happened at around 8.45pm on Wokingham Road at the junction with College Road.

A car was in collision with a cyclist and the car involved did not stop at the scene.

The cyclist, a woman in her twenties, sustained serious injuries and was taken to Royal Berkshire Hospital for treatment.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Alastair Nicholls from the Roads Policing Department via the Thames Valley Police enquiry number 101.

If you don't want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at (opens new window). No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Big Lunch community building workshop in Reading in October #rdguk @thebiglunch

COPY Josh Williams at Big Lunch eventWe have been trying to get more community events going in Reading.

With the help of local campaigners we've got the Council to offer free road closures for Big Lunch events (street parties) and Play Streets (where roads are closed for a few hours so children can play out).

The national Big Lunch organisers have been offering some training called Big Lunch Extras and they are putting on a session in Reading. More information here:

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Wokingham road double parking update #rdguk

Following our petition to tackle problematic double parking on the Wokingham Road near to the shops and Alfred Sutton school, handed in by Green councillor Josh Williams, a report came back to the Traffic Committee recently – item 7 on the linked to agenda webpage.

There was both some positive and negative in there. In summary even though the double parking is dangerous in most cases it is not illegal.

However the Council has committed to conducting a review of the parking restrictions in the area starting in September.

We will keep working to improve road safety and create a more pleasant environment for walkers and cyclists.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Palmer Park five aside fencing and tree work #rdguk

The five aside fencing in Palmer Park is to be replaced. We are going to lose a few self seeded trees as part of this. I have asked if we can get some new ones planted to compensate. More information below:

“Dear Councillors

I am pleased to inform you that the fencing around the 5 aside courts at Palmer Park is going to be replaced during the school summer holidays.  In order to carry out this work, it is necessary to remove some of the branches from the trees surrounding the courts.  In addition, two small elders and an elm tree are being removed.  The elders are self sown and if left, will grow in and through the fencing.  The elm tree is also self seeded and very small and if not attended will impact on the courts in the future.

We will, as a matter of course, ensure that before any work is carried out to the trees, there are no nesting birds present.

The work to the trees will be starting on Wednesday 30th July and will take 2-3 days.

Work to replace the fencing will start mid August (date still to be confirmed), and will be completed before the end of August.”

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Police appeal for witnesses to London Road collision #rdguk

Unfortunately, another accident on London Road.

“Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following a collision in Reading last Wednesday (9/7).
At about midday, a white Citroen Berlingo van and a black Yamaha motorbike were in collision on the A4 London Road, near Fatherson Road.
The motorcyclist was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital with a broken finger and other bruising and grazes. The driver of the van was uninjured.
The road was closed while investigations were carried out at the scene.
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Sally Barden from Three Mile Cross on 101, quoting URN 578 of 9/7”

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Play equipment piece being replaced in Palmer Park #rdguk

In case anyone is wondering what is happening with the play equipment in Palmer Park which should be fenced off by now:

“Following my previous correspondence of June 11th regarding the replacement climbing rope to the unit at Palmer Park, I am delighted to advise you that work will commence Monday 7th July 2014.
The rope unit will be fenced off for an estimated period of five working days and will not impact on the rest of the play area which will remain open for use.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards”

Fed up with fly tipping in #rdguk?

Below are some top tips from a leaflet we produced a while ago about tackling fly tipping and litter:

· Illegally dumped waste should be cleared in the weekly cycle; if it hasn’t been, let us know

· Don’t throw it away – Freegle it away! Visit for info

· Love Clean Reading have an app for smartphones to report fly-tipping:

· Five or more adults in a house should result in a larger bin for that household; get in touch if you haven’t gotten one

· If you see someone fly-tipping, let us know or report it to the council

· For information on the bulky waste collection service, visit (we are lobbying for a free collection to be reinstated)

· The Reading RESCUE community led litter pick happens twice a year, let us know if you are interested, or look out for posters in the spring and autumn.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Co-wheels car club revs up in #rdguk

9 Councillor Jamie Whitham with the Co-wheels car club carDo you want the convenience of a car without the cost of car ownership? Co-wheels are a social enterprise car club operating in over 45 locations in the UK. They have 2 cars available to rent by the hour in East Reading (Cemetery Junction and Redland Court) from as little as £3.75ph, or £17.50 for 24hrs. They also have 4 cars near the town centre—look for nearby cars at

Join today and use Promo code ‘ReadingGreen’ to earn yourself £20 free driving credits!

Green councillor Jamie Whitham, pictured above at the car club stall at East Reading Festival, said, ‘We desperately need to reduce traffic and CO2 emissions, and sharing a car is one great step towards that.’

Social Enterprise Awards named Co-wheels as Environmental Social Enterprise of the Year 2013.

For more information see:

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Bridges Hall Redevelopment – information for residents #rdguk

I know some residents have concerns about Bridges Hall reopening. Information on a meeting organised by the University below.

Bridges Hall Redevelopment – Project Completion – Information for nearby residents

We are pleased to confirm that the construction of the new Bridges Hall is now complete, two months ahead of schedule. We would like to thank neighbours for their patience and tolerance whilst the redevelopment works have been completed. The new hall provides excellent modern accommodation for our students and sits well within the campus setting. Enclosed with this update is an invitation to view the new hall and to meet key staff.

Over the summer vacation period we will be accommodating international students. The hall will then be made ready to welcome new students, a range of undergraduate and postgraduate students, for the main academic year in September.

We appreciate that many of our neighbours have a number of questions about the impact of the new hall. The evening on the 16th July is a great opportunity to come and discuss these in person, however we realise that not everyone will be able to come. We have also prepared therefore a summary of some of the main concerns we are aware of and tried to address these, as follows:

Bridges Hall Redevelopment Invitation to the Local Community

The University of Reading and UPP (University Partnerships Programmes) are pleased to invite local residents to visit our new hall on

Wednesday 16th July, 6.30pm to 8pm

Meet key members of the Bridges Hall staff team including the Hall Warden, Operational Managers and Security staff

View the new student rooms and facilities

Find out about our plans to manage the impact on nearby residential areas

Please RSVP to Laura Edwards: 0118 378 8426,

We are concerned that hall residents will park on our street

We make it clear via a range of communications to all prospective residents that they cannot bring a car to University if they wish to live in halls (unless they meet specific criteria which would qualify them to have a campus parking permit e.g. disability). Furthermore, the Student Residence Agreement prohibits any student living in halls from parking within a 1 mile radius of the campus.

Our experience of other redeveloped halls tells us that students who live in those halls do not bring cars. Whilst it is difficult to distinguish between students and staff who make daily journeys to campus from elsewhere and park locally, and those living in halls, where it has been identified that a student in halls has a car, this has been robustly dealt with.

We proactively promote walking, cycling and use of public transport to both staff and students. Bridges Hall has outstanding cycle storage facilities and shower facilities for staff. Reading Buses are also increasing the frequency of the No. 19 bus route which serves Whiteknights Road.

We are concerned about increased noise and anti-social behaviour

The Hall Warden Dr Sam Boateng is aware of local residents’ concerns. During the welcome period he will be meeting with the students and alongside the JCR (hall social committee) raising their awareness of the need to be responsible and considerate to neighbours. These messages will be reiterated when necessary. The majority of our students will behave responsibly and many will be keen to take part in community life, taking up various volunteering and other community activities.

Once again those who can be identified as causing a problem will be dealt with through our disciplinary processes. There will be a permanent manned security presence out of office hours at the hall. Our security control room can also be contacted with any specific concerns at any time on 0118 378 7799.

When will the main moving in period be? What are the arrangements?

The University’s main ‘Welcome Weekend’ will be from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September 2014. Students moving in to Bridges and Wessex Halls are booked to arrive across all three days, with timed arrival slots to avoid traffic queues. Cars will drop off at the respective hall and then be directed to park at the Earley Gate campus car parks. The area will be fully staffed to manage traffic flows.

Who are the key staff on site?

Bridges Hall Reception can be reached on 0118 378 5730. The key contacts are:

Catherine Mewes, UPP Group Residence Manager

Dr Sam Boateng, Hall Warden.

The University’s Community Relations Manager, Ann Westgarth is also contactable for community related enquiries on 0118 378 4479.

We hope the above information is helpful to you. We would be delighted to see you on 16th July.

Please RSVP to the invitation.