Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 14:10 UK

Funding bid to tackle congestion

Traffic jam (generic)
A third Thames bridge would ease congestion, respondents said

A multi-million pound bid for government cash to tackle increasing traffic congestion in a Berkshire town is being discussed.

A decision to submit a major bid for Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) cash for Reading is expected to be approved at a borough council meeting on Monday.

It follows an independent transport commission's 16 recommendations to improve the town's traffic problems.

A third Thames crossing was one of the key recommendations.

"Many of the commission's recommendations affect areas outside of the borough boundary and would require major funding unlikely to be readily available from either the council or neighbouring authorities," a council spokesman said.

'No business'

Tony Page, lead councillor for planning and transport at Reading Borough Council, said: "Thousands of cars and lorries each day, with no business to conduct in the town, use Reading as a short-cut.

"They contribute nothing to Reading but add substantially to congestion and pollution. It is in all our interests to tackle this.

"Let me reiterate that this council's administration is only willing to contemplate road pricing or tolling on the basis that there will not be any charge for Reading residents, including Greater Reading residents, going about their daily business."

Earlier this year, the local authority revealed it had been successful in applying for 2.2m from TIF to investigate congestion issues.

The second TIF grant followed a successful 1.3m bid in November 2006 for similar investigative work.

Road charge vote 'not final say'
23 Sep 08 |  Manchester
Traffic needs under the spotlight
19 Feb 08 |  Berkshire

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