The new path will eventually run the entire length of the A329 in Wokingham borough, from the Three Tuns junction to Coppid Beech roundabout.
A 1.5m cycle path will be created on either side of the highway, footpaths will be resurfaced, lighting installed, bus shelters in poor condition replaced, and off-road cycle routes improved.
The first phase, due to start in July, will focus on the stretch between the Three Tuns junction in Earley and the Showcase Cinema in Winnersh.
New cycle lanes are also planned further up the A329, to connect with Winnersh Triangle Business Park and a number of secondary schools, including St Crispin’s, London Road; The Holt School, Holt Lane; and The Emmbrook School, Emmbrook Road.
Cllr Keith Baker, executive member for strategic planning and highways at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “There are already more than 4,000 cycle movements a week in places along the A329, so we’re making it safer and easier for cyclists to continue using it, while encouraging more people to get on the saddle.
“We have the road space. The carrying capacity of the A329 Wokingham, Reading and London Road won’t be affected. Where the road does narrow cyclists will use the shared highway, but only for short sections.”
Funding for the project comes in part from Local Sustainable Transport (LSTF) funding, from the Department of Transport, which the council successfully bid for £2.75 million in 2012.
The LSTF scheme – now renamed My Journey Wokingham – focuses on the A329 due to its vital links with residents and businesses.
The rest of the money comes from developer contributions.
Due to work on the Loddon Viaduct scheme, the first phase of the scheme will pause between Wednesday, July 23, and Tuesday, September 2, but will resume once the viaduct works are complete.
Phase two is anticipated to begin in January next year, to be finished by spring, Phases three and four will be completed over the coming years.