A new pedestrian and cycle route will open in Reading later this month after two railway bridges were upgraded to create more space for a new cycle path and footpath.

On Monday 15 April the new routes will open at Cow Lane following the opening of the new wider road, which allows for double decker buses and lorries to use the road for the first time, which removed one of the town’s most notorious bottlenecks.

The opening of dedicated new pedestrian and cycle facilities under the new bridges marks the completion of the Cow Lane project which is being delivered by Network Rail and Reading Borough Council.

Before the new facilities can open, a three-day full road closure is required to resurface the new cycle and pedestrian facilities as well as finishing off the resurfacing of the road.

Cow Lane will be closed to all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists from 8pm on Friday 12 April until 6am on Monday 15 April. Closure and diversion signs will be in place.

Steve Coe, senior programme manager said: “We are really pleased that we have been able to deliver this project together with Reading Borough Council, which has opened up two-way traffic flow at Cow Lane as well as provided access for double-decker buses and goods vehicles.

“Cyclists and pedestrians in the town will be the latest to benefit from the scheme, which is already improving connectivity around Reading station with the removal of the bottleneck at Cow Lane.

“The new facility will improve safety for all road users – as well as being physically separated from vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians will each have their own designated lane when using the new footpath and cycle way.

“We would like to thank everyone for their patience while we deliver this upgrade.”

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“Pedestrians and cyclists across Reading will remember the difficulties of navigating their way through the old Cow Lane bridges. These dedicated new pedestrian and cyclist facilities are a huge improvement and a key feature of the completed scheme.

“There is already anecdotal evidence the opening up of Cow Lane in February is having a positive impact on the Oxford Road, and other roads in west Reading. More drivers, including heavy goods vehicles, are now choosing Cow Lane as a quick alternative route through the town. By creating a safe and dedicated pedestrian and cycle route under the new bridges I hope more people will consider walking or cycling as an alternative to the private car.”