Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

It somehow seems appropriate as we start a new year that the first of the new Cow Lane bridges is in place.

The installation of this bridge is a landmark event in the history of Cow Lane and heralds in the begining of the end to Cow Lane misery (as the local press like to call it).

I sincerely hope 2012 is a successfull year for all of us.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Cow Lane

End to Cow Lane misery now a reality

Battle councillors have been campaigning for nearly ten years
The existing southern Victorian red brick Cow Lane Bridge is set to be replaced by a new 1600-ton bridge. The bridge will be inched into place today on a multiple set of wheels operated by a single engineer.
This work will herald the beginning of the end of what has become known as ‘ Cow Lane misery, and will create a new chapter in the history of Cow Lane bridges. The new bridge will provide for two lanes of traffic, double decker buses and articulated lorries will be able to pass under it. There will be provision for safe access for pedestrians and cyclists will have a dedicated cycle lane.

By 2015 the replacement of both bridges will be complete. Long delays for traffic and lorries stuck under the northern bridge will be consigned to history. However, most important of all is that pedestrians will be able to walk beneath the bridges in safety for the first time. The replacement of this first bridge will be an historic moment that will conclude with Cow Lane being brought into the 21st century in 2015.

For many years Battle councillors have been campaigning for the bridges to be sorted out once and for all.  This is what was said in 2005.
Battle councillors 2005 annual report. Read the full report here.
This is yet another example of how Reading Labour Party delivers on major projects that benefit local communities as well as our town.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Cameron lied

Cameron’s broken NHS promises

I was proud be out on the streets of Battle ward this weekend campaigning with my colleagues to fight the NHS cuts. 

Cameron promised to ‘protect the NHS’, to ‘give the NHS a real rise in funding’ and to ‘stop top-down NHS reorganisations’. He is breaking every one of these promises.

Under Cameron’s government:

  • More people are waiting longer for treatment

  • More NHS services will be run by private companies
  • A real-terms cut in the NHS budget is a deadly threat to our National Health Service

Cameron, backed by Clegg’s Lib Dems, is pushing forward with the biggest reorganisation in the history of the NHS. It’s costing billions of pounds, and is opposed by patient groups and health professionals alike. 

Their Health Bill is a deadly threat to our National Health Service. It will mean:

  • Worse patient care with services cut, hospitals closing and longer waiting times for treatment

  • More privatisation and more companies making money from all parts of our health service

  • More red tape making it harder for nurses, doctors and other health professionals to do their jobs

Cameron has betrayed our NHS. He made promises in the election he knew he would not keep in government. He has put our NHS firmly in the danger zone.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

End in site for Cow Lane problem

This Christmas the project to replace Cow Lane Bridges will take a huge step forward with the replacement of the bridge closest to Salisbury Road.  The road between this junction and the Safestore entrance will be closed from 19 December until 23 January 2012.  The road between Safestore and Cardiff road will then be closed 23-30 January 2012 for preparation work on the second bridge.

It will potentially be a difficult time for residents of Battle ward as there will be disruption to traffic flow however it will be for a huge benefit once the bridges are complete, as large vehicles and through traffic will no longer need to use the Oxford Road.

This video very neatly shows the improvements to the station and, near the end, Cow Lane Bridges!


You can check if your train journey will be disrupted here.  You can also visit the Network Rail pages for this project here.

You can even go and watch the bridge being moved into place from a viewing platform in the Dairy Crest yard on Boxing Day.

UPDATE:  Just received notification that  Cow Lane will be shut between Safestore and Cardiff Road for three nights 8pm until 6am from 5 to 8 December for safety reasons.