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Update from the council leader - 26 August

Time Square flag and building

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

For many of us, the commute and school run will soon be part of our daily routine once again so, this week, I’m going to share how we’re helping to keep Bracknell Forest moving safely, whether you travel by foot, bike, bus or car.

Our transport and parks and countryside teams have been making it easier to walk or cycle around the borough. We have been making sure the borough’s network of 100km traffic-free cycleways and footpaths are easily accessible by keeping them clear of any overhanging vegetation throughout the pandemic.

Year 6 pupils, who were unable to take part in cycle training courses while schools were closed, have been able to take part in sessions run by our transport team to make sure they can cycle safely when starting secondary school.

We successfully secured funding from the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to improve the junction of Sandy Lane/Warfield Road/Holly Spring Lane and make it safer to use for both pedestrians and cyclists. This will improve access to the town centre and local schools and a second bid is now being submitted for more walking and cycling improvements across the borough.

We have helped to keep buses running throughout the pandemic and, as restrictions have eased, we have been working closely with operators to make sure buses remain safe. We’re doing this by keeping safety messages updated, assessing capacity issues to allow for social distancing and supporting operators to run additional services where needed.

We’ve been supporting road users too; working closely with local employers to share information, taking the opportunity to upgrade the traffic light systems in place at major junctions and carry out road maintenance while roads have been quieter.

As we look to September when more people will be travelling around the borough, I’d ask you all to consider how you make your journeys to avoid overcrowding and congestion. Please consider the 4 Rs:

  • reduce - is your journey really necessary?
  • re-time - could you travel a little later or earlier than peak periods?
  • re-route - can you change your route to avoid congested areas?
  • re-mode - can you take an alternative mode of transport for a more reliable journey?

Keeping these things at the front of our minds should help us all stay safe and get to where we need to be while maintaining the environmental benefits of reduced car use and the health benefits of using other, more sustainable modes of travel.

Until next week, take care and stay safe.