Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Tackling road safety and parking problems on the Wokingham Road

We (Green councillors Brenda McGonigle, Josh Williams and I) have been working for number of years to try and tackle road safety and parking problems on the Wokingham Road opposite Alfred Sutton school. Still some way to go! Let me know if you can help.

The Council's proposed solution was of course the double-red lines - these can be enforced by car (with camera) and so don't require an enforcement person on foot. Plenty of tickets have been issued but this obviously hasn't done enough. 

We've had the Council confirm that the camera car can issue tickets for parking in the hatched areas and double parking, so hopefully the message will get across to repeat offenders as they receive tickets. Enforcement stopped during lockdown, but has started again now.

But this also isn't enough - the camera car travels the whole section of the red-route and so is only at that stretch of road every so often for a minute or so. So we have requested a permanent enforcement camera to be located at that site, which the Council has said is an option, but is on hold during Covid, as so many things are. When things become more normal again, we can lobby again for this.

Finally, there will be new pay & display machines by the bays at the shops (although implementation of these is also on hold during Covid) which will make enforcement much easier - no parking ticket will be a fine. At the moment, the bays are 30 minutes free, which means officers have to come back 30 minutes later, by which time cars have moved around.

The pay & display machines could also work with a free period – which we have asked for. You would still need a ticket from the machine for the free period – which as above means only one traffic warden pass is needed to issue tickets whereas at the moment 2 passes are needed.

Hopefully the combination of pay & display, with the car and perhaps the permanent camera we will see significant improvement. We will keep lobbying on this issue. Send me an email if you have time to help with campaigning on improving road safety in this area rob@readinggreenparty.org.uk

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Black history mural listing update from Historic England

Louise Keane (Katesgrove Green Party candidate)
campaigning to save the central club and the mural.

I wrote to Historic England on behalf of Green councillors and campaigners in support of listing the Black History Mural. They got back to me with a few more details about what they plan to do. See below and let me know what you think. We will keep working with the black community to give the mural the protection it deserves.

"Many thanks for your email. We will be reviewing some of the listings in Reading as part of the upcoming High Streets Heritage Action Zone project, and this will include assessing the Black History Mural in London Street for listing. We took the view that considering the mural for listing as part of the HSHAZ would be appropriate because the cultural programme will enable working closely with local communities to understand the significance of the mural (and other candidates for listing) ensuring their input into the town’s listing project as a whole. You can find more information on that project here; https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/regenerating-historic-high-streets/.

The assessment process itself can take around 6 months, although it is not clear exactly when we will begin, given the current circumstances. But please rest assured that we will be assessing the mural for listing over the coming months, and we will engage with the community as part of this process."