Correspondence on Erleigh Road

Brian Morley wrote to Sam Shean, Streetcare Services Manager at RBC, about the maintenance of Erleigh Road.

Dear Sam,

It was a pleasure to meet you at the last Cycle Forum meeting when you explained about road repairs and potholes etc.

You told us that potholes in Erleigh Road were to be repaired shortly and that the road was scheduled for resurfacing. I note that major work on the section between Craven Road and Alexandra Road is to be carried out next week.

In our discussions at the Cycle Forum I welcomed the forthcoming work, but stressed that Erleigh Road needed a major rebuild and not just a new surface, as it had been resurfaced many times in the past leaving it with a steep camber, broken edges and deep gullies at the sides which are hazardous to cyclists, traps for leaves and places where pooling and flooding occurs, because rainwater does not flow freely to the drains.

You stated that you appreciated these problems and I perceived that you indicated that the work would take these points into account and that there would be this major repair work and not just the normal removal and replacement of the top skin.

I do hope that you will confirm the work will be this major rebuild that I understood it would be. This will be a great boon to all who use Erleigh Road, particularly cyclists.

I would also like to know when the remaining part of Erleigh Road from Alexandra Road to Addington Road will receive the full treatment. The same road edge problem exists in much of this section of the road.

I particularly refer to the section outside The Co-operative Group’s store. This is one of the few small stores that makes provision for off road parking outside its premises.

Many years ago the previous occupants of the store paid for a dropped kerb to permit parking on the forecourt. The road profile has now changed so much that there is a dip between road and pavement in part of the frontage and it can be seen by marks and heard that vehicle exhausts scrape on the pavement across part of the frontage.

Please let me know when the second section of Erleigh Road will receive the long overdue repair and that the problem outside the Co-operative store is noted.

Best Wishes, Brian Morley Reading Cycle Campaign Committee

This is Sam Shean’s reply:

Dear Brian

Thank you for your email, contents noted.

My response at Cycle Forum included an update on what was proposed for Erleigh Road, which in essence was to be an extended pothole repair plan rather than the perceived total road reconstruction you had hoped for.

Nevertheless, our teams are carrying out extensive localised carriageway reconstruction repairs, including raising low channels, repairing edge breaks as well as extensive pothole repairs.

We have also arranged for our Cleansing Team do much needed sweeping now that the parked cars have been shifted, our Parks Department are carrying out extensive tree works and our Drainage Crews are attending to the road gullies and connections.

The extent of works has increased from just a ‘pothole plan’ to extensive maintenance, and plans are being put together to extend the closure for additional days next week to ensure that we tackle/complete what is required while we have the road closed and cars moved.

I note your request to extend the works to other areas, however, due to existing budgetary constraints we need to ensure that our limited funds are directed on a priority basis. The remainder of Erleigh Road will remain on our maintenance list and any works will, of course, be carried out on a priority basis and on availability of future capital and maintenance budgets.

I have passed on your concerns with scraping, potholes and edge breaks to the area Neighbourhood Officer. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards SAM SHEAN Streetcare Services Manager| DENS Reading Borough Council 19 Bennet Road, Reading, RG2 0QX

Bike racks removed from Erleigh Road

Brian was dismayed to see the bike racks on the pavement near Cafe York on the opposite side of Erleigh Road had been removed by RBC. Do the Council wants to discourage the use of cycles or do they think customers for shops on that side of the road will cross over and use the Sheffield racks the Co-op has provided for its members and customers?

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Richard Denney

It’s good to see a constructive dialogue, if only about limited positive action to help cyclists but oh the dreaded “budgetary constraints” phrase! We didn’t hear “budgetary constraints” when the doomed MRT was being planned by RBC and so much money was wasted on an aborted scheme supposedly benefiting cyclists among others. Nor do we hear it about the costs for the Environment Agency’s current surveys and ground investigation works in aid of their plans for so called essential Flood Defences. See the current destruction of many wildlife habitats along the north bank of the Thames from Christchurch Meadows & downstream on the semi-wild fields along by Dean’s Farm and the Amersham Road green boundaries. Noisy heavy machinery and gangs with chain saws. What price Wildlife and Countryside Legislation? Visit cabfas.org

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