Give the IDR a break from traffic

By Reg Vastern-King, chair of the Friends of the IDR.

Reading’s Green party lit the briefest flicker of hope in the breasts of the Friends of the IDR this week that the town could convert the Inner Distribution Road (IDR) into a cycle track for a day.

Councillor Rob White asked a question on behalf of fellow Green party councillor Josh Williams at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) full council meeting on 16 October:

Let’s Ride events are fun, free cycling festivals held across the country. streets are closed around a local park and into town for a period, and everyone cycles on them… Will the lead councillor [Tony Page] join with me in calling for one in Reading, and will he ask officers to contact Let’s Ride, British Cycling and other local cycling organisations to positively discuss opening Reading’s roads to a cycling festival?

RBC full council, 16 October [at 0:47:20].

The IDR was not mentioned, but this sounded like progress towards the goal of the Friends of the IDR, which is close the IDR to traffic once a year; a day in which Reading people could enjoy a traffic-free IDR and the many landmarks and historic sites that are strung like pearls along its length.

RBC deputy leader and lead councillor for strategic environment, planning and transport, Tony Page, was uncertain of the practicality of the idea. He stated that the council supported many other cycling opportunities:

In my opinion, focusing on the development and delivery of these existing opportunities to encourage and grow participation in community cycling activity is a better use of available resource at this time rather than simply delivering a one-off event. I am happy to keep this under review…

Councillor White also asked if the council would support the community taking the lead delivering the event, to which Councillor Page replied that in principle he was willing to discuss any proposal.

Sadly, the closure of the IDR for a day may be a very long way off, but we should not forget that the Reading 2050 vision document said that success comes when “Reading’s new IDR park [is the] finish of Tour of Britain 2050″.


Links
  1. Reading Borough Council 16 October full council meeting papers & webcast
  2. Let’s Ride
  3. Let’s Ride Bristol 8 July on Facebook
  4. Reading 2050: the Emperor has no clothes
  5. The IDR on the Whitley Pump
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