Thursday, 14 June 2012

IKEA and coach stop at Savacenter

One of the big concerns that local west Berkshire Council councillors had when considering the IKEA planning application was that the extra traffic caused by IKEA would get tangled up with coaches serving the Calcot coachway (as the coach stop at Savacenter is officially called). The coaches stop in the same lay-by as Reading buses. Quite often, the lay-by is full of buses and coaches, and arriving coaches block the junction. Councillors were assured that the coach stop would move to a site near M4 Junction 11 by next year, probably before IKEA was built.


However, I have just had the following information from the West Berkshire Council public transport officer:

- There is no definitive date as to when National Express may decide to move its coaches from Calcot to any transport interchange that may be provided at Mereoak, south of M4 Junction 11;

- The reason for this is that Wokingham Borough Council has not committed to the construction of the long-proposed Park-and-Ride site at Mereoak, which would incorporate a National Express stop;  

- My understanding from brief discussion with Wokingham Borough colleagues is that while Wokingham Borough owns the land in question - and notwithstanding Reading Borough Council's desire to see the Park &
Ride site provided - there are financial and other considerations which mean it is unlikely to be constructed in the short-term;   

- I note from recent media reports (see www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2106952_first_safety_training_centre_plan_for_mereoak_lane_compound -) that a 4-year lease on the site, known as Mereoak Lane Compound, was granted in January to a training company, although this does not preclude future construction of the Park & Ride and National Express coach stop.

This means that local councillors fears will probably come true.

I feel that councillors, including myself, were misled.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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