The UK Government has revealed plans to invest £24m in the construction of a new relief road in Wokingham to reduce congestion, increase employment and create opportunities for more sustainable forms of travel.

In a press release published on Friday, Transport Minister Baroness Vere said the funding will be used to build a new 2.3km Arborfield Cross Relief Road that will link the A327 Reading Road to the A327 Eversley Road and provide traffic relief to local communities.

The relief road will divert traffic away from smaller villages and open up land for new housing.

Baroness Vere added that the new project would also benefit cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, as a shared-use pathway will be created alongside the route, encouraging travellers to opt for sustainable modes of transport.

The new relief road is the latest in a series of investments by the Department for Transport (DfT), which is planning to spend over £6.6bn between 2015 and 2021 to improve local roads.

Baroness Vere said: “Roads are part of the fabric of everyday life – stimulating local economies and helping bring communities together.

“This vital £24 million scheme will provide a new route for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians, helping reduce traffic through local routes and making towns a nicer place to live.”

Rush hour traffic through Arborfield Cross is forecast to increase to 3,200 vehicles per hour by 2026.

As a result, the scheme is intended to divert traffic away from busier routes to ensure that the Arborfield and Arborfield Cross villages are not affected by congestion.

Wokingham Borough Council leader John Halsall said: “This is exceptional news for the borough; reducing congestion is a principal objective for us at Wokingham and we welcome this funding to assist in the delivery of the identified infrastructure.”

The plans are also set to unlock housing developments and drive economic growth, allowing for the construction of 3,500 homes at Arborfield Garrison.

Finally, the new route is to support cyclists in Wokingham, who will have greater access to the areas around Berkshire thanks to the construction of a pathway along the eastern side of the carriageway.