A new pedestrian and cycle route has opened in Reading under the railway line at Napier Road. Known as the Biscuit Tunnel, it will provide people living on Napier Road and Luscinia View with direct access to and from the town centre; and for people heading north to the River Thames and Caversham.
Get Reading reports that the underpass gets its name because it was formerly used by two small trains which transported biscuits from Huntley & Palmers to a siding at Reading Station, but it had been unused since biscuit production ceased in 1976.
The £500,000 funding has come from a combination of developers' contributions to local services and a successful bid to the Government's Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).
Councillor Tony Page, Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“The route under the railway line will be of major benefit to Reading residents, providing direct and well-lit pedestrian and cycle access to and from the town centre, east Reading and Caversham.
“This is the first time that there has ever been public access through this historic tunnel which, in itself, consists of various sections built at different stages. It’s another part of Reading’s fascinating heritage which the council has restored.”
Earlier this year, a new £5.9m bridge for pedestrians and cyclists was opened across the River Thames, linking Caversham to Norman Place and Reading Station. It was again paid for using the LSTF – funding that has also given rise to the ReadyBike hire scheme in the town.