Reading considers charging road users

Reading council is to consider proposals including the potential establishment of a charging Clean Air Zone as part of efforts to tackle air pollution within the town.

Councillors will meet next week (16 Jul) to consider next steps for the development of a new local transport plan, which will be implemented alongside an air quality strategy ‘to help address concerns about congestion and poor air quality’ in Reading.

Reading, Berkshire (Picture: Shutterstock)

According to a report published ahead of the meeting, measures to be consider in the development of the strategy include road user charging, a workplace parking levy, and clean air or low emission zone.

The council is looking closely at similar schemes in effect across the country, including London’s Congestion Charge, Nottingham’s Workplace Parking Levy Scheme and Clean Air Zone, and Oxford council’s Low Emission Zone.

Sustainable choices

The strategy will support residents to switch to ‘sustainable travel choices’ the documents add.

“Our ambitious LTP4 [Local Transport Plan] vision will seek to support healthy lifestyle choices, improve quality of life and facilitate economic growth by reducing congestion, improving air quality and promoting sustainable transport options for local journeys or as part of longer journeys.

“This vision will be outlined in the core LTP strategy and further detailed in supporting sub-strategies that will set out our long-term goals and aspirations for a Reading that is clean, green, safety and active.

“As part of the Plan, we are proposing to develop a borough-wide car parking and air quality strategy to address commuter and through traffic. This will be further complemented by ambitious improvements supporting more people to make sustainable travel choices, including the development of a new Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan that will identify new routes and improvements based on key destinations.”

It is intended that following appraisal of the options the council will consider the proposals again in early 2019, ahead of a proposed implementation date in 2020.

Related Links
Reading council Transport Plan and Air Quality Strategy report