CONTROVERSIAL proposals for a park and ride in between Bracknell and Wokingham have been given the green light despite opposition from residents.

The £3 million transport scheme will be added near the London Road/Coppid Beech roundabout and work is expected to start by the end of the year.

READ MORE: The park and ride plans set for Coppid Beech roundabout

Speaking at a Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) planning meeting, Conservative councillor for Norreys, Malcolm Richards, said: “It is a good location for a park and ride.

“It is a decent size and it is on our existing bus routes.”

His approval of the project came after almost three dozen residents lodged their objections to the scheme, however.

And further questions were raised during the discussion of the 254-space park and ride application.

Liberal Democrats councillor Stephen Conway said: “I think we are all in favour of trying to encourage a movement to public transport.

“I question whether this is the right location for a park and ride — what incentivises people to travel into Wokingham from the park and ride?”

Labour’s Carl Doran went one step further and laid into the plans after pointing out there is no dedicated bus service planned for the park and ride, with existing lines including the 3/4/X4 Reading Buses routes and Courtney Buses route 151 set to be used.

READ MORE: Park and ride scheme will cost £3 million -- here's who's paying for it

He said: “It is effectively a car park that happens to be on a bus route.

“I don’t think there is any reason for the park and ride to exist.”

Planning officers argued drivers would use the park and ride and explained it would help to reduce congestion heading towards Reading, with one councillor pointing out that more houses being built in the borough would mean more people needing to use it.

Despite these reservations, councillors on WBC’s planning committee voted 9-1 in favour of approving the plans, with just Cllr Doran voting against.

The scheme will cost £3 million with the council set to contribute £600,000 towards this cost.

Now the scheme has been approved, construction work is set to begin at the end of this year with an end goal at the close of 2021.

Speaking after the meeting, councillor Pauline Jorgensen said: “Reducing congestion across the borough is one of our top priorities and improvements to public transport infrastructure, through projects such as Coppid Beech park and ride, will help make this a reality for residents.

READ MORE: Delays to new park and ride bus at Thames Valley park

“The area links up extremely well with existing bus routes and will mean we can get people easily into Wokingham, or other nearby towns, on the bus.

“We expect journey times to drop along the A329 and other surrounding roads once this project is complete, as well as a host of environmental benefits.”

The meeting took place virtually on Wednesday, August 12.