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  • Sharma and Vickers hold further meeting with Council to discuss 33 bus route
    would not require a change to the current timetable as the extra distance involved is negligible and would not cause any confusion amongst users as there would still be a single straightforward route and timetable The alternative proposals developed by the local residents on 10th November were presented to the Council and Reading Transport for consideration Mr Freeman said that he would review these proposals over a two week period and revert with his conclusions on their feasibility Mr Freeman explained that if a revised route for the 33 bus is agreed Reading Buses will still need to follow the statutory 56 day process to register the proposed change with the Traffic Commissioner before any change can be made to the route of the 33 bus Residents also raised the issue of the placement of stops along the route suggesting that a stop near to the junction of Westwood Glen and Lower Elmstone Drive would be welcome Mr Freeman explained that re siting bus stops can be very difficult due to a number of factors The meeting therefore agreed that efforts should be concentrated in the first instance on the route of the 33 bus with further consideration given to the issue of bus stop locations at a later date if necessary Alok said I was pleased that Reading Transport was willing to listen to residents concerns and engage with them in a meaningful way I look forward to hearing from James Freeman in two weeks time when he has had a chance to consider the residents proposal that outbound buses serve the Westwood Glen Chapel Hill loop Sandra said I think the meeting represented a very positive way forward I hope that we can reach a compromise which will allow residents continued full use of their local bus service

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/295 (2016-02-14)
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  • Tilehurst residents hold meeting to discuss 33 bus route
    along with Tilehurst councillor Sandra Vickers held a meeting with residents Reading Borough Council and Reading Transport at the Civic Centre on 24th October to try to solve the issue Although the issue was discussed in detail at that meeting a resolution was not reached and so a further meeting with the Council and Reading Transport has been organised by Alok and Sandra and is due to take place on Monday 21st November at the Civic Centre At last week s residents meeting alternative suggestions were formulated to take back to the Council and Reading Transport at the meeting on 21st November Everyone present agreed that if alternate buses during the main daytime service could travel via Westwood Glen Chapel Hill the 300 households who have lost their bus service would again be served The extra distance of about 0 2 miles would not require any timetable changes Unfortunately it was agreed that the 28A Community Link bus which currently serves the Westwood Glen Chapel Hill route twice a day is of little use for the majority of users Dorothy Wood and Patricia MacDonald co organisers of the residents meeting said We cannot understand why there should be extra costs involved if the route were to be changed slightly to include Westwood Glen and Chapel Hill or why there should be a drop in passenger numbers All buses would continue to operate between Reading and Turnhams Farm and the vast majority of passengers that is to say those using the service between Reading and Tilehurst Triangle would be unaffected Alok said I know just how concerned many of my constituents are about the changes to the 33 bus route We had a meeting a few weeks ago with the Council and Reading Buses and I will be holding a follow

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/288 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma and Vickers hold meeting with Council to discuss Tilehurst car parking charges and 33 bus route
    Tilehurst Geoff Foley of C G Hardware said It was a fairly positive meeting but I still feel that it is a case of RBC NCP against the local community and traders rather than the Council supporting us instead of a large company The revenue and jobs created by the locals is obviously not regarded as that important by the local Council otherwise they would have listened to us more in the past before making any changes I thank Alok for his very much appreciated support on this matter and I am sure we all look forward to a swift response as promised by the members of RBC Janet Carr of Warings Bakery said The Council seemed receptive today but that was also the case during the meeting in August I would be very happy to see the first hour s free parking reinstated and I know our customers feel the same way To sum up I am cautiously optimistic Jenny Cottee of Tilehurst Globe said I found it an excellent workman like meeting well supported by up to date information about both issues I left feeling confident that a better charging regime for car parking will emerge The situation regarding those who have lost out on the re routing of the 33 is more problematic The second issue discussed at the meeting was the route of the number 33 bus in Tilehurst The route of the 33 was changed at the end of September and no longer includes the Westwood Glen Chapel Hill loop Residents explained that many people from the local area covered by this loop rely on this service especially elderly people who are not able to walk up and down the hills which form part of the route Residents were also unhappy that the changes were decided and implemented without consultation of the travelling public and with little publicity They suggested that a possible solution would be for alternate buses to include the Westwood Glen Chapel Hill loop in their route which would still provide local residents with a service Whilst James Freeman indicated that he understood the residents concerns he stated his belief that the 33 bus has the best chance of continuing to run as a service only if it continues on the new route Mr Freeman also stated that RBC offers the number 28A Community Link bus which includes the missing loop of roads in its route The residents however seriously questioned the use of the 28A bus which only runs twice a day Councillor Page stated that bus routes can be changed but that RBC would have to consider the financial viability of a route as well as information on passenger numbers in making any decision to alter a route In relation to the issue of the number 33 bus Alok said Local residents are clearly very concerned about this change and unfortunately we ran out of time at the meeting and therefore were not able to reach a satisfactory conclusion on

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/281 (2016-02-14)
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  • Disappointment as the Council approves development on the Bath Road Reservoir site
    of local people who will be affected by the changes and on works to improve the immediate local area and not other parts of Reading Full detail of Alok s letter to attendees of the planning committee meeting is set out below Dear Constituents and Councillors RE Planning Application for development of the former Thames Water Bath Road Reservoir site reference 12 00980 FUL and 12 00982 LBC I would have liked to have been present at the planning committee meeting to set out my thoughts in person Unfortunately as Parliament is currently sitting this has not been possible hence this letter summarising my views As members of the Planning Committee know I have campaigned alongside the Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Group and local residents for the past four years to stop development on this site I have also submitted my detailed views on this latest planning application to Reading Borough Council s planning department which the planning committee will have seen Despite the submissions made by local residents expressing their reservations about the proposed development Council officers have recommended this application for approval The arguments against these plans have been clearly explained by local residents on many occasions In summary The loss of a highly valued green space and detrimental impact on the landscape and the character of the area A negative impact on biodiversity Insensitivity to the important heritage of the site Overbearing nature of the plans for residents in surrounding streets Harmful impact on the local transport infrastructure parking and road safety Ultimately the planning committee needs to decide whether these plans represent a sustainable development I do not believe that as they are currently configured these plans represent a sustainable development and that is a view shared by many in the local area Overall

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/389 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma comments on Thames Water’s revised proposals for the Bath Road Reservoir site
    Water started with and I pay tribute to the work of the Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Group for campaigning so hard for local people But the reality is that cramming 78 homes on this site is still too many and with the previously promised community space now removed these plans do nothing for existing local residents Alok continued If despite strong opposition from local residents Reading Borough Council decides to give the green light to these proposals I want Thames Water to immediately liaise with the Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Group to make sure local residents are fully informed of their plans for decommissioning and building on the site Any development of this site is going to lead to a long period of inconvenience for local residents from noise dust increased traffic and potential structural issues for their houses and that is why local residents need to be involved in agreeing any practical grounds rules for the carrying out of the works before they start and during the process Campaign Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Alok Sharma MP Reading West The Reading West constituency embraces parts of two local unitary authorities Reading Borough and West

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/352 (2016-02-14)
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  • Thames Water displays latest plans to local campaign group
    huge local opposition to the proposed heights and density of the proposed development STBRR campaigner Graham Griffiths commented While some small changes have been made the proposal is still too much and too high It is still not at all in keeping with the local area nor the historic settings and it does nothing to offset the deficiency of open space in the area The building platform height is still a key issue and Thames Water are still being cagey about this despite having had so much time to look into it Fellow campaigner and local neighbourhood watch coordinator Peter Finnan added We have raised numerous concerns over the location of the proposed play area as it stands it would not be a safe location and would not in any way benefit the local area In addition the proposed wildlife area has clearly not been thought through and Thames Water evidently don t care about the fact that no wildlife would survive if their current proposals were to be permitted STBRR campaigner Mel Woodward said The decommissioning process is a huge issue Many houses in this area already suffer from subsidence and there is a real fear amongst the local community about the real implications of such a huge development so near to so many tiny old Victorian terraced houses The saying safe as houses could so easily become meaningless when people s houses start to crumble in the wake of the demolition machinery Reading West MP Alok Sharma attended the meeting with local residents He commented I continue to believe that the proposed number of dwellings is too high and there are still many unanswered questions I hope councillors on the planning committee will be robust and stand up for local people whenever this application comes before them Campaign

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/285 (2016-02-14)
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  • Thames Water display latest plans for the Bath Road Reservoir site to the community
    only the maximum height figures for their previous application which ranged sometimes from 8m to 12 5m To unsuspecting residents who were unaware of the detail of the previous application this makes it look as though they have listened and reduced the heights but they haven t at all the number of dwellings proposed is less but they haven t reduced the footprint since the buildings would still cover the same amount of space This is a very deliberate attempt to mislead the local community and the local Council and I am extremely disappointed STBRR campaigner Graham Griffiths commented We still feel that Thames Water could allocate more amenity space Social housing with no community facilities makes little sense Thames Water could use one of the buildings proposed as housing for community purposes Further this area lacks ball play areas access to allotments and other such community facilities and a real opportunity to address this is being missed Fellow campaigner Mel Woodward added Building heights are still a major concern as the proposed buildings are still of an unacceptable size and massing and would still dwarf the surrounding buildings One of the key reasons for dismissal was the cluster of buildings in the centre of the site being 10 12m on a raised platform Thames Water are now proposing that these same buildings would stand 11m metres tall which goes completely against the Inspector s recommendations The plans shown were not final and are subject to change so we very much hope that Thames Water will take note of local feedback and amend their plans accordingly Reducing unit numbers but not building heights does not constitute listening to the local community nor indeed the recommendations of the Government Inspector Reading West MP Alok Sharma attended the consultation with local residents

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/272 (2016-02-14)
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  • Thames Water continues to ride roughshod over local opinion regarding Bath Road Reservoir
    construction of large buildings of up to 3 storeys high which will dwarf and overshadow the surrounding properties The character of the area will be permanently changed Mel Woodward from the STBRR Group said We are extremely disappointed with Thames Water s arrogance and their consistent attempts to make only the most minimal amendments to their plans and cram in as many units as possible We had hoped that such a public rejection would make them realise that they needed both to go back to the drawing board and also to actually listen to what the local community wants We have been telling them for the past 3 years that even 80 is too many units and that the local infrastructure and area cannot support this many new dwellings but they just don t care It makes a mockery of democracy Fellow campaigner Graham Griffiths added It was the changes to the Water Tower that really were the last nail in the coffin for the Appeal decision so Thames Water are evidently trying to sneak around this obstacle by leaving it out altogether This goes against what both the Inspector and RBC have dictated the site forms part of the setting of the Water Tower and pumping station and it must be considered as one whole application Thames Water needs to demonstrate that they could convert this Grade II Listed building in a sensitive manner An application that just omits it altogether is wholly unacceptable Peter Finnan local Neighbourhood Watch coordinator said The amount of public money that has already been squandered over this highly valued site is a disgrace Thames Water needs to understand that they cannot just ride roughshod over unanimous local and political opinion in this way Just because they are owned by a huge Australian asset

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/195 (2016-02-14)
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