Getting about in the Wokingham constituency

There are three things the Council does that have a direct effect on every household. They send us a Council Tax bill. They collect the refuse and keep the public spaces clean. They provide the roads and pavements so we can get about.  I regularly remind Councillors that these three crucial items need constant attention and good management , though the large spending services like education and social services understandably attract a lot of time and debate.

The Wokingham constituency has faced substantial new development and an expanding population in recent decades. It is good that there are many more decent homes, and many people have settled well in them. The problem is that spending on roads and railways in the previous decade did not keep up, so it is now more difficult to get about. In recent years  a large programme of new investment has taken shape. There has been a big improvement and increased capacity at Reading Station. Wokingham now has its new station. Crossrail is nearing completion which will improve links from the Thames Valley into central London.

The Station link road in Wokingham will open soon and help provide more capacity for car travellers. Many people in the area have to get to work by car, and have to drop the children off by car at school. At peaks the roads are particularly congested. The east-west railway line provides a major barrier, with limited crossing points. The river is also a barrier for those wanting to get into Oxfordshire, with limited bridge capacity.

The new plans for Wokingham include a Shinfield and Arborfield bypass to improve the A327 into Reading, and a northern and southern distributor road in Wokingham with a new bridge over the railway. I would like the Council to review the major junctions on the A 329 to see if they can be made safer and if their capacity can be improved. They are currently improving the Coppid Beech roundabout east of Wokingham.

In West Berkshire the main need is for improved maintenance of local roads, which the Council has promised to do.

 

Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both at 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

 

This entry was posted in Wokingham and West Berkshire Issues. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

8 Comments

  1. Tony Houghton
    Posted April 9, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    John
    But WBC could have anticipated the increase of cars on Wokingham roads better!

    The decision for the developer of Montague Park to pay for the road leading through their estate to the bridge over the railway line and then to Tesco’s roundabout is short sighted. Having heavy goods lorries driving through the new estate on domestic roads is not the answer. A Southern ring road is needed.

    Wokingham road plans have not changed since we moved here 26 years ago when the plan was to have an inner ring road, which has never materialised!

    London Road is frequently solid from the traffic lights near Rances Lane, I suspect all the way to Finchampstead Road although fortunately my destination is Molly Millers Lane!

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 10, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Tony

      I Echo your comments.

      I have been living in Wokingham for 35 years and at one point the Council Bought up over 100 homes for such an inner relief road that you mention, those properties stood empty for years before they sold them again.

      We now have had, and continue to have, so much building on the outskirts of Wokingham that a relief road , ring road or bypass is now near impossible without huge major disruption.

      The rather silly idea of using a new rather narrow, with tight turns, housing estate road and calling it a Southern relief road is just plain daft, the fact that it also plans to exit between two low and narrow bridges at the Tesco roundabout on the A321 also does not seem sensible.

      The northern relief road, again through a new housing estate which does not connect directly to the A329M to the north also seems rather pointless.

      30 years ago when they could have built proper relief roads in theses areas this was open farmland, now its full of new housing.
      A huge opportunity was available then but has now been totally and utterly wasted.

      We still await the full opening of the Station roadworks, how long has it been, perhaps nearly two years of absolute misery, will it make any difference, I hope so but fear far too little far too late .

      I see that the Showcase roundabout modification are now complete after 4 months of absolute chaos, when they were installing new traffic lights.
      I have used this roundabout on a number of occasions recently I cannot tell the difference, can anyone please explain !

      • johnredwood
        Posted April 10, 2015 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        You and Tony make good points which I will take up with the Council. My main aim has been to seek to secure a new railway bridge with full carriageway width in both directions.

  2. Cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted April 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    It is really funny because, many years ago, Wokingham effectively HAD a bypass, it was called Forest Road however, it was closed off at Toutley Depot when the A329 was opened…..It would have been far less expensive to have widened this old road than to build a new one soon even if WBC have tried to do it on the cheap via the state’s “Statutory Bribe” scheme (s106.)

    The widening of the Forest Road and a roundabout near The Bull Dog Service Station would have made sense however, when you’re spending other people’s money, commonsense goes out of the window.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Cliff

      Absolutely right, the perfect place for a slip road/small interchange onto the A329M for the North, be it using Forest road, or another new one (which they sort of propose) to the south of the A329M

      I have filled in and returned consultation documents, spoken to Councillors, written to Councillors all with exactly the same suggestion.

      But what do I know, I just live here and use the roads !

      I have done the same with comments on the southern relief road ! again with absolutely no success, they always know best.

      Only hope JR with his reply above, can use his influence to get some commonness into the proposals.

      Relief roads using a housing estate are a joke, one parked car and its all jammed up, apart from that, who wants juggernauts driving through a housing estate with its narrow roads and tight bends.

      Unfortunately we are now where we are due to lack of action in the past, any relief road would now have to be a big diversion around the Town, because all of the original fields have been developed.

  3. Matt
    Posted April 10, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    The new roads around Wokingham are only designed to accommodate the traffic from new developments, not to cope with existing congestion or future rising demand. The most recent government has ignored investment in local roads just like those before it. The new road at Shinfield is costing £25 m – which is probably significantly more than the Council’s entire highways budget for the year. And whilst the number of cars increases and more roads are being built the Council cut its road maintenance budget.

  4. paul cohen
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    The present chaos and continuing disruption is because we have a council that is not up to the job. No one seems to listen to alternative arguments or applies any logic to their decisions.

  5. John
    Posted April 12, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    A couple of transport related issues both local and national

    The government has failed to lead on a universal transport card e.g.like the OV chipkart in the Netherlands. We now have the Oyster for London, Reading buses have their own, Leeds have a similar scheme to London. We should have one card for one country in one name.

    I cycle, walk and drive in Wokingham, all of which are unpleasant and often dangerous.
    We have a highway code but no one to enforce it, traffic would flow better if people obeyed the rules. It would be nice if their was no need for enforcement but sadly many people need to be motivated a with a stick to do this.

    Walking to Wokingham which I presume is the council’s intention as they want to start building on the car parks, and parks is a dangerous occupation. With speeding traffic at crossing points, locally for me that is Warren House, and Wiltshire Road. We have some new illuminated speed signs but they are hidden behind the trees and ignored, and better of in the Tate Modern.

    Walking through the town the number of drivers on the phone, or otherwise distracted it shocking, but when people die or seriously injured by drivers(not the car) its just a slap on the wrist if you are unlucky.

    We have tightened gun access in this country due to the inherent dangers(of the operator), but 1 ton of steel by the same operated by the same person can do as much damage.

    Enough of my ramblings for now.

    John

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page