Letter to Highways England about the A329(M)

I set out below the text of my most recent letter to Highways England about their project to ease the congestion at the junction of the M4 and A329(M).

Dear Mr O’Sullivan

M4 Junction 10 with the A329(M)

The project to ease congestion and improve traffic flows at the above junction has resulted in regular complaints to me by my constituents. The most serious complaint concerns safety, and I understand that there have been three accidents while the work has been in progress.

The other complaints are about congestion and the time it now takes to complete a journey trying to use the A329(M).

In a letter to me of 20 October, Mr Yandell confirmed that the junction had not performed in accordance with the traffic model. A road safety audit was to be carried out on 21 October and Highways England would review any further measures that needed to be taken.

As a matter of some urgency, I should be grateful to know what action Highways England is now taking to ensure the safety of those using junction 10 and those who are driving north/south on the A329(M). I should also like to know what plans are now in hand to ease the congestion on the A329(M) that has been caused as a direct result of the changes made to the junction.

I understand that officers from Wokingham Borough Council are seeking a meeting with Highway England officials. I hope that this meeting takes place soon.

Yours sincerely

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3 Comments

  1. alan jutson
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    From all of the comments I have heard from people, the new Junction 10 is an absolute disaster.

    You may only have had three actual recorded accidents John, but local information suggests minor accidents every day, and countless near misses where traffic realises far too late that it is being forced onto the M4 motorway, when all it wants to do is go straight on along the A329M.

    Late decisions are then taken to get into the single fast lane (was originally two lanes) which then causes major problems, disruption, emergency braking, and congestion.

    The A329M is a busy road in itself from Wokingham – Woodley, why do engineers think making a two lane road into one and forcing the inside lane onto the M4 will make things safer.

    All that was needed was a more gentle feed into the M4 slip roads, why block off a lane !!!!

    Daft and dangerous thinking.

    If traffic density was a problem, then why build 20,000 more houses in the area.!

    Reply I have contacted both the Council and Highways England and asked them to sort this out. It was apparently a Highways England scheme applied to a Wokingham Borough road.

  2. JJE
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for raising this issue and please keep up the pressure.
    By Highways England’s own admission they know of no other road layout in England where traffic is channelled into a single motorway carriageway with a 70 mph limit.
    Given the experimental/unique nature of this layout you might expect some care to be given to road markings and signs but the initial signage was utterly inadequate – I understand further signs are to be placed in January.
    Highways England seem to think this is a fairly quiet road with low volumes of traffic. I think their initial surveys must have been inadequate and their recent attempts to monitor the junction by driving up and down a few times with a dashcam fitted to a car are risibly amateurish. They need to survey it and the junctions that feed it properly during rush hours.
    In my view it is time to stop pretending this road is a motorway and introduce a 50 mph limit. The hard shoulder was already turned into a bus lane from Winnersh to Reading and the bridge that was supposed to be at the Reading end over the Thames when the road was planned 50 odd years ago is never going to be built is it?

  3. alan jutson
    Posted January 1, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Have now used this road a few times when it has been less busy over the last few days.

    I can now see they have markings on the tarmac to (i guess) help traffic positioning, shame they did not realise that such markings are not visible when traffic is heavy, and the drivers eyes are naturally fixed on the traffic flow hundreds of yards ahead (for anticipation of a possible hazard), not simply on the tarmac between you and the car in front

    I understand proper signage is on the way in a couple of weeks/months.
    Let us hope this will help.

    But pray tell me, why close off a perfectly usable lane to traffic with cross hatch white lines to reduce a two lane road into one ,when the tarmac lane is still in existence.

    Crazy thinking.

    Just remove the white lines which have been installed.

    Perhaps worth asking the question at your next meeting.

  • 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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