Category: Articles

The silent killer on Caversham’s busy roads – 2018

The harm to human health and our environment of “Poor Air Quality” has been the subject of international, UK and local media discussion for some years. The alarming measurements taken by Caversham GLOBE (Go Local On a Better Environment) group, as part of a national campaign organised by Friends of the Earth (FoE), reveal the dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in central Caversham.  Special test tubes were obtained and installed to measure the amount of harmful and dangerous nitrogen dioxide (micro-grams per cubic metre) on some local roads and the results were analysed by Gradko Laboratories of Winchester.

These results, in µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre) are as follows:

Caversham Location  Dec 2017  March 2018                July 2018            Sept 2018
Church Street/Prospect Street jnc     Not tested  41 µg/m3    41 µg/m3    34 µg/m3
Near Church St/Priory Ave jnc  Not tested  47 µg/m3    49 µg/m3   40.5 µg/m3
Church Road/St Anne’s Road jnc  56 µg/m3  57 µg/m3    50 µg/m3   41.5 µg/m3
Peppard Rd near Prospect St jnc  Not tested 54 µg/m3    71 µg/m3   48.5 µg/m3

This means we’re breathing in dangerous particles! The legal MEAN ANNUAL limit for nitrogen dioxide is 40µg/m3. These alarming results show just how bad pollution is on our roads and how dangerous they are for residents, pedestrians and cyclists.

Of more concern is the equivalent information that RBC has collected for air quality measurement – see below – showing that THREE CAVERSHAM LOCATIONS HAVE EXCEEDED THE MEAN ANNUAL LEGAL LIMIT FOR THE PAST NINE YEARS

What is to be done? Who will do it?  When? These crucial questions and many more need some answers. This matter has now been raised with the RBC Strategic Environment and Transport Committee. However, the agenda papers of 21 November 2018 on Air Quality (search for 7 page RBC document at ) does not make any reference to AQ readings north of the Thames, even though Prospect Street readings have been above the illegal limit for many years and GLOBE’s AQ readings are not mentioned. Residents groups and RBC Councillors in north Reading need to develop a joint approach for remedial action underpinned with funding and commitment from RBC This could include more trees, street planters and green walls.  However, only by reducing the levels of polluting traffic exhaust fumes will residents, pedestrians and cyclists be able to breathe cleaner air in the long term.

Readers should also note that the infamous Cow Lane Bridges project will be completed in Spring 2019. This will result in increased eastbound vehicle traffic coming to Caversham Bridge junction with Richfield Avenue as well as more traffic coming from the north and east seeking a westbound route across town. Reading Borough Council proposes to restrict traffic in west Reading, on the Oxford Road, so that Portman Road, Richfield Avenue and Caversham Road will be an alternative route. High density of residential apartment blocks planned for Caversham Road, Vastern Road and nearby locations will also bring heavier vehicle traffic. Anyone can reasonably predict longer traffic queues, slower journey times and increased air pollution. Action is overdue. Meantime, best advice might be “hold your breath”? 


February 2019 ref: GLOBE/Air Quality.

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Reading decisively rejects Gladman development proposals

Gladman siteRBCs planning committee voted unanimously last night to send strong objections to South Oxfordshire on the speculative application from Gladman to build 245 houses on open countryside immediately adjacent to Emmer Green.

All of the public speakers and councillors spoke in very robust terms against the application which GLOBE believes to be unsustainable, contrary to the approve SODC local plan and objectionable on many other grounds including ecology and the burden on local services and the road network in Reading.

More information on the CAGE campaign web site

South Oxfordshire will decide the application at a planning meeting in March and we urge GLOBE supporters who have not yet expressed their concerns to send objections to SODC.

Mapledurham playing fields ‘most supported site’ for Heights school location

Reading council have released the results of the survey regarding new location for ‘Heights

Mapledurham playing fields
Mapledurham playing fields

school’ in Caversham.

The Heights school is currently in a temporary site next to Westfield Recreation fields in Caversham.

Mapledurham playing fields came out first with 70% of survey participants saying they would support it as the new school location.

The results have been passed onto EFA for a decision.

Apart from the fact that there is clearly a need for more school places, it is a pity for green space to be sacrificed.

Want to read more?

  • The Reading Chronicle has published an article here.
  • The full stats from the survey can be seen on RBC site here.

Get walking or pedalling! – avoid reading bridge work delays

Caversham commuters are seeing increased travel times as they find that can’t drive over the Reading bridge due to strengthening works. The reading bridge is closed for two weeks from Monday, 18th May 2015.

Reading Bridge may be closed to Cars/Truck. But walkers can still use it.
Reading Bridge may be closed to Cars/Trucks. But pedestrians can still use it!

Well, I have some good news for you… The bridge is still open to pedestrians/bike users on foot…

So if you are going into reading or close by, why not ditch the car for the two weeks and save some time!

Plus, it will save you sitting in the traffic jams, while also saving fuel costs and giving you some nice health benefits.

PS: If you want to see updates on the Reading bridge strengthening progress, get reading have a page up here.


Certificate given to GLOBE for 25yrs of RESCUE

GLOBE receives certificate for 25 years of ‘Outstanding & Continued comittment to improving the local area’

Caversham GLOBE were very pleased to receive this award at RESCUE event celebrating 25 years of Reading RESCUE (Rivers and Environmental Spaces Cleanup Event).

Certificate given to GLOBE for 25yrs of RESCUE
Certificate given to GLOBE for 25yrs of RESCUE

Background on RESCUE

RESCUE was started in 1989 by a group of committed and concerned canal users from West Berkshire and Reading, the Rivers & Environmental Spaces Clean Up Event has changed tremendously over the years.  It has grown to include business sponsorship and urban areas.

You can read more on RESCUE and get involved by visiting their website:

Reading RESCUE October 2014

Reading BridgeSeveral items of flytipping and old metal road signs dredged out of the Thames at Reading Bridge by Caversham GLOBE supporters this weekend.

Our contribution to the October Reading RESCUE event which took place across the town from 9-11 October. An old shopping trolley was also pulled from the river at King’s Meadow.

The wonderful volunteers hard at work planting!

GLOBE Volunteers and the Church street planters

In April 2011 Reading Borough Council (RBC) told Caversham GLOBE that, due to budget cuts, the Council would no longer be maintaining the 22 planting boxes along Church Street Caversham. These planters had been installed by RBC in 2001 as a millenium project to improve the appearance of Caversham village centre. In 2012, Caversham GLOBE agreed to look after the 10 RBC planters on the BT Telephone Exchange frontage. The following year, encouraged by the Caversham Traders Association (CTA), GLOBE extended its work to include the 12 RBC planters on the north side of Church Street. This is how it was reported in the local paper “Get Reading” in May 2013 when the planters were all woodstained, selectively pruned and partially replanted.

'Winning the right to tidy' - Getreading article
‘Winning the right to tidy’ – Getreading article

Thanks were due to the Caversham Traders Association, Drews Hardware for materials and RBC for a small grant. 10 Caversham GLOBE activists gave up much of their Bank Holiday time to carry out the first stage of painting and replanting. Then six volunteers from Scottish & Southern Energy Vastern Road Offices, as part of their “Community Programme”, later assisted in concluding these improvements for Spring 2013. Five of the Caversham traders made the generous gesture of paying the costs of buying new plants. GLOBE subsequently watered and replanted, with the help of Green Shoots Garden Centre (part of the Ways and Means Trust Charity).


The wonderful volunteers hard at work planting!
The wonderful volunteers hard at work planting!



The end result - GLOBE still maintain these plants to this day.
The end result – GLOBE still maintain these plants to this day.


In June 2014, as result of the installation of Bicycle Hire stands, some of the planters on the BT Exchange forecourt have been replaced and we await replanting by Reading Borough Council. In the meantime,GLOBE has been encouraging BT Facilities Management to implement a maintenance programme for a tidy frontage and removal of the remaining redundant railings. This eyesore should soon be just a bad memory!

This eyesore should soon be just a bad memory!

Richard Denney October 2014

Caversham GLOBE

Latest GLOBE Annual Report published

Caversham GLOBE’s Annual Report for the calendar year 2013 has now been published following approval at our AGM on 24 June 2014. It shows the huge range of local environmental issues and activities that Caversham GLOBE supporters have been involved in. The report can be found on the Downloads – Reports page.

RESCUE 2014 – Help clean up litter hotspots around Caversham!

Reading RESCUE 2014 [Rivers and Environmental Spaces Clean-Up Event].  Caversham GLOBE has organised the following events for RESCUE 2014. All help is welcome.

Please arrive in good time to familiarise yourself with the safety notes and sign our attendance sheet as required for public liability insurance purposes. NOTE. It’s important that participants wear the right clothing and footwear due to ground conditions, working near brambles/undergrowth and weather.

Friday 14 March – Beech Wood off Badgers Rise, end of Hemdean Road 10 am. Meet by junction of Badgers Rise and Hemdean Road. All help is welcome, so please come along. If needed, you can contact Richard Denney via   [email protected] or on 07768 958407.

Friday 14 March – Christchurch Meadow/George Street area from 2 pm. Meet at the corner of George Street and Gosbrook Road by the entrance to Christchurch Meadow next to the advertising posters. All help is welcome, so please come along. If needed, you can contact Richard Denney via[email protected] or on 07768 958407.

Saturday 15 March – Far end of The Warren by start of Bridle Path from 10.30 am. Meet at far end of The Warren by 10.30 am. All help is welcome, so please come along. If needed, you can contact Richard Denney via [email protected] or on 07768 958407.

Sunday 16 March – 10.30 am Meet at corner of Rectory Road and Hemdean Road by 10.30 am. All help is welcome, so please come along. If needed, you can contact Dave Kenny via [email protected] or on 07906 630378. Plan is to clear some areas of Caversham centre.

Sunday 16 March – Hill’s Meadow and View Island from 2 pm PROMPT. Meet by the “Thames 21” Van in the gravel area near the skate park on Hill’s Meadow by 2 pm. If needed, you can contact Dave Kenny via [email protected] or on 07906 630378.