Road works

I am taking up the matter of so many roadworks all at the same time which constituents are understandably raising with me.

At last count Davis Street (Winnersh), Finchampstead Road, and Loddon Bridge Road are all closed. This means the B3030, the A 321 and the main Woodley spine road are all blocked, making north-south travel very difficult. In addition Waterloo Road, Lower Wokingham Road and Barkham Road have had or still have roadworks impeding flows one way.

I understand that the Council does not control the utilities if they need to do urgent work. However, surely it is possible to reach agreement about staggering works so more routes in a given direction stay open at any given time. It would also be good to see some new thinking, to get new utility pipes and wires put in concrete boxes under pavements, allowing easier access without digging trenches each time we need repairs. It does seem crazy that we are still laying things down the middle of busy roads and tarmacing over them.

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3 Comments

  1. Ray
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Reading (for instance) will only get permission to bring in congestion charging (and hence be able to coerce a lot of money out of residents and visitors) if it has lots of congestion. Thus, the financial incentive for the council is to create as much congestion as possible.

    Just saying.

  2. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    John

    Absolutely right comment about Service provision.

    For years I have been making the point that to bury single services in the road is an absolute nonesense.

    One very large pipe/pipes set under the path/verge with inspection chambers at regular intervals where they can be lifted for servicing or replacement, seems so simple a solution to put in place on new developments.

  3. Matt
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    There is a huge amount of utility apparatus buried in roads, footways and verges. To move this to some pre formed ducting under footways would be unfeasible as there is not enough space and the cost would be enormous. As most utility equipment is now privately owned the costs would all be borne by customers. There will always be a lot of utility works across the south east and in London. The highway network is running at near capacity for periods of the day across the south east so any slight change to it will have a significant effect. If you want a network with more capacity someone needs to either invest in the road capacity or provide more effective travel choices. For the last 40 years UK governments have failed to adequately do either. That is the key issue – utilty works causing disruption is merely a symptom of that.

    Reply: I am talking about oputting it under an accessible pavement when you have to renew anyway. Other countries manage to get to pipes and cables without digging up the road each time.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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