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Lib Dems hold Summit to seek way ahead on Briscoe Report on Transport

August 1, 2008 12:00 PM

Leading Liberal Democrats from Reading and neighbouring councils have met to agree a common approach to dealing with the recent Briscoe Report, which recommends transport solutions for Reading.

The meeting, convened by Reading Councillors Gareth Epps and Ricky Duveen and attended by Liberal Democrat councillors from West Berkshire, Wokingham, Oxfordshire County Council and South Oxfordshire District Council, welcomed many of the proposals in the report, including the scrapping of Labour's one-way IDR, better bus services, and improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.

Critically, Liberal Democrats are in favour of a new local Transport Board to bring councillors from affected areas together and hammer out solutions to congestion and improving public transport.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, have objected to the Briscoe Report on principle and have yet to come up with a coherent view that covers the needs of both Reading and its neighbours.

Commenting, Cllr Gareth Epps, Liberal Democrat group leader on Reading Borough Council and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Reading East, said, "Liberal Democrats are committed to finding long-overdue solutions to local transport problems which make people suffer, not just from Reading but from other areas around. Finding strategic answers, such as priority bus routes for Caversham, will help Oxfordshire residents, too.

"Conservatives both in and outside Reading have for years blocked any progress on transport solutions for Reading and its neighbours. Meanwhile, Labour are irrelevant outside Reading's council borders."

Cllr Prue Bray, leader of the Liberal Democrat Councillor Group at Wokingham Borough Council and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham, said, "It is vitally important that when transport issues are looked at, the wishes and needs of everyone affected are taken into account, across Reading and the surrounding areas."

Cllr Royce Longton, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Burghfield (West Berkshire Council), said, "The one-way IDR, opposed by Liberal Democrats all around the area, is an example of how not to take transport proposals forward. We welcome its removal and are determined to work constructively to seek a better way forward."