Online shopping and homeworking may not be the only trends to have been accelerated by Covid-19.

Reading has long made a big play of its proximity to London but attracting occupiers to move west has always depended on the desire of firms to make such a commitment, even though it’s much cheaper.

Now, with little immediate prospect of the capital’s renowned vibrancy returning, and people fearing its crowded spaces, the choice to move may be a little easier.

That, combined with the new £15 a day congestion charge coming in at a time when many don’t want to travel on public transport, makes a move west to less hectic surrounds seem more desirable than ever.

The private car has developed a new importance and a third Thames bridge could also be key in assisting business and making Reading a better place to live and work, as addressed by Chris Holdup from mode.

As we previously reported, Cllr David Bartholomew says it’s irrelevant. Perhaps it’s more relevant.

Renata Lovat Short reports that many firms will consider going further west and setting up in Swindon where sizeable investment is already going on and where occupiers can benefit from lower land values than in Reading.

So despite all the Covid gloom, the Thames Valley’s location and connectivity could now become more important than ever in the long battle to recover.

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