Berkshire

Reading to Wokingham Mass Rapid Transit scheme refused

Proposed MRT scheme visual Image copyright Reading Borough Council
Image caption Planning officers said "additional planting" had been added to the plan since it was last refused by councillors in June

Plans for a £20m riverside travel route connecting two Berkshire boroughs have been blocked by councillors.

A proposal for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) between Reading and Wokingham was refused by Wokingham's planning committee on Wednesday night.

Reading Borough Council has already approved the scheme.

However, Wokingham councillors voted 6-3 against the plan. The authority had received more than 300 objection letters citing environmental concerns.

Members of the public booed at the start of the meeting when they were told the scheme had been recommended for approval by planning officers, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

In a council report, planning officers said the proposal for the route along the Thames for buses, cyclists and pedestrians "would encourage a model shift to public transport".

They added that "additional planting" had been included in the plan since it was last refused by councillors in June.

'Concrete jungle'

But the meeting heard representations against the plan pointing to the potential environmental impact and changes to the landscape.

Councillor Andy Croy said: "It still looks like a concrete jungle being dumped onto Wokingham Borough by our neighbours... and it is still a road, not an MRT."

Members of the public cheered and clapped when the decision to refuse the application was made.

Details of the scheme were first published in July 2016 as a solution to congestion problems in Reading.

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