Cow Lane in Reading finally ready after eight years

Cow Lane Bridge
Image caption The old barrel-shaped tunnel was only wide enough for one vehicle at a time

A new traffic route aimed at easing a major bottleneck will finally open eight years after work first began.

Cow Lane in Reading was supposed to open in August last year but, due to construction problems, will now open at the end of February.

The Network Rail project, which will see the road become a two-way system, has been delayed multiple times.

The firm said it would benefit residents and businesses on Oxford Road.

The road had remained the cause of major traffic disruption even after Cow Lane Bridge was demolished last year as part of the £850m scheme.

Work to construct new pedestrian and cycle route under the bridges - another feature of the much-delayed scheme - will carry on after February 25.

Construction at Cow Lane meant that for months traffic was limited to one-way as work took place to make the underpass wide enough to allow for two lanes.

In August last year, when the project was supposed to be finished, a huge hole appeared that caused further delays.

The new route will be free of traffic lights and "create a safer and more pleasant local environment for residents and businesses on Oxford Road", the rail firm said.

Jamie Davies, head of programme integration, said: "Unblocking this traffic bottleneck will further improve connectivity around Reading station.

"We thank everyone for their patience whilst we delivered this upgrade."

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