Councillors are set for another round of discussion on the controversial Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system linking Wokingham and Reading after new plans were submitted to the council.

The new application for the previously refused public transport link, which would be used by buses, cyclists and pedestrians between Thames Valley Business Park and Napier Road, outlines changes to the scheme including a camouflage addition, in which “planters containing ivy, or a similar plant,” would provide a “greening of the structure”.

Wokingham borough Conservative councillor Chris Smith told the News: “I live in the northern part of Earley so I’m favour of traffic easing going into Reading.

“I don’t view this as solving the right problem – I don’t see what they have really done in their revised proposal. There has been a change in the material, but it is still going to stick out quite a bit.

“Light rail would be an ideal solution, but that would be a lot more expensive.

“Some of it (the link) cuts through trees and it does a lot of damage, and not much is being done to mitigate that.

“I’m against the proposal.”

The original proposals were dramatically refused by Wokingham’s councillors in late June after members of the planning committee raised concerns over the environmental impact, the cost and the technicalities of the public transport scheme.

The East Reading MRT aims to ease traffic congestion coming in and out of Wokingham and the link would appear as a viaduct that would increase in height as it went on, forming a bridge across the River Kennet going into Reading.

The scheme has received 319 objections and seven letters of support from residents, as well as opposition from five Reading and Wokingham environmentalist groups.

Deputy leader of Wokingham Borough Council Cllr Pauline Jorgensen has also opposed the scheme, claiming the MRT would spoil the character of the area and the changes to the plans are not significant enough.

However deputy leader of Reading Borough Council councillor Tony Page told the News: “This link is not just to serve Thames Valley Park but to start the servicing of a much wider network of park and ride sites so that thousands of people will be able to use use that link as a fast way into and out of Reading. It’s strategic significance is considerable.

“We plan to absorb huge amounts of growth. There are more people living, working and shopping in Reading and they can’t come in by private car. This link will enable these park and ride services to operate on a much more attractive basis.”

Up to 700 trees could be lost because of the link, with fourteen of these being in Wokingham borough.

Cllr Page also commented on the environmental impact of the scheme, saying:

“The riverside has changed phenomenally over the last fifty years.

“700 trees – this is exaggerating.

“The riverside has crumbled and all of it is going to be improved by us.

“This is the only option regenerate this part of the riverside.”

The application is set to be discussed by the council’s planning committee on Wednesday, December 13.