Safer junctions and less road congestion

The Transport Secretary has rightly identified the need for more capacity on Council strategic road networks to complement the increase of capacity being achieved through the governments investment in more capacity on the national network. I am encouraging Wokingham and West Berkshire to come up with schemes and bid for cash to take advantage of this initiative.

Much of the congestion occurs at junctions. Mixed use junctions are also a place of maximum danger of accidents where cars, lorries, buses, cycles and pedestrians can get in each other’s way. The more  that can be done to provide safe seperate routes for cyclists and pedestrians at main road junctions the better. The more that can be done to segregate turning  traffic from traffic going straight on a main road, the safer the junction and the better the flow.

My local observations confirm my view that roundabouts usually increase capacity  compared to light controlled cross roads. On the A329 Wokingham to Reading Road the busy junction with the Woosehill spine road normally flows well with a roundabout.  In contrast the Winnersh crossroads, a little west of the  Woosehill turning has a four way phased light set which causes traffic jams most of the day. The Earley peripheral road also flows well most of the time with a series of roundabouts . The jams occur at the main junction with the A 329 with light controls on the roundabout. This I accept is a busier junction anyway which poses additional design issues.

The best example of a roundabout scheme which has greatly improved flows and increased safety is the new junction with the A30 for the Eversley  Road A 327. It should be an example for other schemes. Where roundabouts cannot be fitted light junctions need segregated right hand lanes, short phase right turn sequences, and priority phasing for the main  route and flow at the junction.  Where there is a main road with side roads the main road should always be green unless traffic sensors detect traffic wishing to join from the sides.



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  1. jerry
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    First off, something like 98% of junctions are almost certainly safe if used correctly and with respect, accidents that occur are almost always the fault of one or more road users and not the design of the junction its self. For example, those old style Public Information Films that are occasionally still shown on TV are quite effective making in people aware of such problems and risks, the simple PIF message “Think Bike” has probably saved more (motor)cyclists at junctions than any number of redesigned junctions.

    As for roundabouts, they are all well and good were traffic levels are balanced on all entry and exit slip roads, if not they are more likely to cause congestion on the less busy intersecting roads as traffic has to wait for often non-existing gaps, which in turn causes (usually) car driver frustration and thus the sort of chance-taking that leads to accidents (directly or indirectly, the accordion effect). How many roundabouts now need full or part time traffic lights to allow them to balance traffic flows. You are correct in saying that traffic lights need to be phased correctly, using sensors to give correct priority, right turns especially, short programmed phase right turn sequences all to often cause congestion in themselves.

    • Epikouros
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      When I lived in Canada I do not believe I saw one roundabout. I never went out of the environs of Montreal so in other parts that maybe different. They did not have have vehicle damaging road bumps to regulate speed that we are so fond of in the UK either. They appear to overcome keeping speeds down on urban roads by having stop signs on every road as it approached a junction then each vehicle moving off again on a first come first served basis. It worked extremely well but it depended on everyone politely observing precedence. Not sure the British these days are polite enough for it to work here. Our road network suffers from the cramped conditions imposed by our being a small country and of course years of government neglect and mismanagement.

      • Hope
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Once again hundreds of thousands of immigrants lost by May and Rudd, 20 million invited by Rudd before Christmas, even though we are told by May immigration policy not written and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed!

        I suppose all these lost souls walk! Cultural Marxism marches on under May.

        • jerry
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

          @Hope; Same applied to the Baby Boomer generation and their children, these days were there was no car or perhaps on car per house 40 or 50 years ago there is now at least two and often far more – all being used daily, when the owners could have walked or used PT.

          The difference between then and now, govts. in the past used to plan for the future, for the last 30 years they have often done not much more than maintain the highways plus some cheaply designed ‘improvements’.

          In my area there has been no significant road improvement scheme in those 30 years yet the baby boomer generations children have become road users in that time – what is more the number of children of the baby boomer’s far out number the migrants you lambaste.

          • Hope
            Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            Not correct. Migrant watch stats are very clear why housing, public service provision is overwhelmed. It is not difficult that if you have a mass immigration policy the govt needs to provide infrastructure. Even the dull Javid should be able to work out that if masses of houses are built infrastructure is required. The LAs have infrastructure plans and even include they do not have enough money for the houses being built, like my LA. Yet LAs, and govt, build an urban cities knowing they do not have the resources to cope! This is Tory govt and LA. Councils are not spending the NHB or CIL which the Tory govt introduced to provide infrastructure as was intended when the Tory govt made changes to th planning legislation. No mention by JR. Pretty basic not included. JR why have you not included the basics or facts upon which building is planned, which includes roads and why not mention mass immigration stats which has caused the problem on roads? If the Tory govt is in the business of building extra towns for immigrants roads should be part of the provision should it not?

          • jerry
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

            @Hope; The post WW2 UK population figures, not just immigration figures, and relevant housing and infrastructure figures suggest that it is you who has come to the wrong (and simplistic) conclusions, not me.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 28, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        One of the many mysteries of Canada. How do they do it?

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 28, 2017 at 12:43 am | Permalink

      Texting at the wheel. The toughest punishment please.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 28, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Good idea but how to police it?

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 28, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          Where found punish it as severely as drink driving. How do we police that ?

  2. Duncan
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Local authorities deliberately and perniciously design their services to fail in some area or other. This then gives them a pretext to increase spending to correct their initial mistake which they conspired to generate in the first instance

    In the private sector you cannot afford to make mistakes. In the public sector the taxpayer is always on hand to be abused to finance their deliberate errors

    My own father sees this pathetic game LA’s play on an almost daily basis

    I am tired of government at all levels simply taking the rise out of the taxpayer and they do it to up their budgets, to increase employment and to consolidate political control

    If Labour get in at the next GE this game of ‘abuse the taxpayer’ will multiply many fold simply to up union political control of vital public services only to use this power against future Tory governments.

    This Tory government need to legislate against this abuse should the Marxist idiots ever gain power

    • Bob
      Posted December 28, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      There needs to be a whistle blowing system so that these tax gobbling schemes can be publicised and curtailed. Our local newspapers are often not up to the job or the journos are too close to the chief execs in the local council.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Indeed but government policy for years has been to block the roads and treat motorists as cash cows. Their green crap religion and co2 is the gas of the devil beliefs lead them to consider cars, vans and trucks to be pure evil. This despite the fact that they are vital to the economy, more efficient, cheaper, more flexible and more convenient in general than the alternatives of rail, bikes and busses. Government like to control, tax and boss people about, they therefore love traffic lights that can hold them up. Congestion is how they choose to deter people from driving and increase pollution in the process – but why? Far better to deter by sensible time dependent charging then provide the road space needed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      The Transport Secretary, C Grayling is a Cambridge Historian. Might we not be better off with someone who understands the economics, engineering, practicalities and statistics of transport systems I wonder?

      Still Grayling was for “leave” so he clearly has at lease understood some important history, that giving others the right to rule over your country is not a good plan.

      More road space please and stop the green loons from blocking the roads. They have done enough damage by expensively insulating tower blocks (incompetently too). Oh and electric cars emit rather more CO2 than petrol ones, so get real please and grow up!

      • Andy
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        No they don’t. Seriously stop being such a Luddite. Electric cars can easily be powered by batteries recharged by solar or other renewal power. This technology all exists, it all works – all that is lacking is the political will. I have a solar panel on my roof – for heating hot water. We barely use our boiler in the summer and, in the winter, we use about 50% less gas than we would otherwise. Solar with batteries can power most houses for most of the year. That’s before you start with wind power and the real gold standard – tidal – which can predictably and reliably power an island nation in its entirety.

        As a country we are about to spend £50bn on Hinckley Point. That sort of investment in actual renewables would be a permanent game changer. Everything is in place to make this happen – except political leadership. We have lousy politicians unable to act in the interests of future generations. Imagine what a lame country we would be today if the Victorians were as inept as both the modern day Conservative and Labour parties.

        • stred
          Posted December 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          Oh dear. Where to start. Firstly, look up the excellent book by the late Prof Sir David MacKay, who advised Decc. Before he died in his last interview he said the renewable energy would not be capable of powering our needs and if we had to build nuclear power stations as baseload, why not just run them all the time.

          He analysed all sources of tidal energy and it came to only a few %, even when a Severn Barrier was included. Fortunately for the bill payer the Swansea lagoon seems to be held up by raw figures. The tides have been analysed and the lagoons around the British Isles would not be capable of supplying electricity all the time. It is predictable but fluctuates.

          In all renewables ( not renewal) could supply about 15%. Just in case you thought your solar panels could charge your car, the supply would not be enough for a fast charge and you would have to leave it at home during the day, as it doesn’t work at night when your house battery would be needed.

          The government has decided to build windfarms at sea which will be guaranteed at price of £150/ MWh as opposed to Hinkley Point which is £89- and is the most expensive in the world. Later windfarms will be less expensive but will still need 100% back up by gas stations at present as batteries can only store their output for a few hours and are very expensive.

          When renewable electricity is put into the grid, it becomes part of the whole. We cannot separate out the electrons. If you claim that your car or home is running on renewables, this means that someone else will have to claim that theirs is not. It is just a paperwork exercise. The mix of sources nationally will be the same.

          Hopefully, the UK has other younger EU enthusiasts and greens who can understand figures and how stuff works. If not we will need lots of candles.

      • Hope
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        £82 billion on HS2 likely to be £132 billion for a EU infrastructure project for one railway journey. Headed by Odonis who is acting in against and in stark contrast to govt policy without any censure or sanction!

  4. fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Some road junctions are very dangerous and not easy to get onto the main road from a minor road especially when turning right across the road. The A27 is notorious and I used to have to turn left first, go right down another road further on and then come back on myself to proceed with my journey. The only other way was to force my way out into the middle strip which was very narrow and then get into the traffic. The situation is still the same with no traffic lights at peak times to make things easier.

    Regarding electric cars. I hear today that somewhere in the UK 14.000 homes have been without electricity over night. Really handy if you have an electric car and need to get to work this morning!! Nice start to the working week. Still, the next door neighbour with his diesel car must be happy.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Electric car are not very good if you are stuck in a snow drift either perhaps in skimpy clothing, this as their heating system runs the battery down rather rapidly!

      When this technology can perform without subsidy or tax advantages then people will switch. R&D is fine but the roll out of duff, premature, range limited, tax payer subsidised, very expensive and limited technology is just stupid. Please can you stop it Mr Grayling?

      • rose
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        You should have seen Nigel Lawson being interviewed on this subject of fossil fuels versus other more expensive unreliable ones, this am on the Parliament Programme. He talked about a lot else as well.

        • Hope
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          Could you imagine the damage to the economy with electric cars? Look at the weekend over 10,000 homes without electric!

          We are already paying additions to community charge for social adult care and flood defenses on top of the general increase. Javid now demands another 6 percent breaking two Tory govt promises: not to increase above inflation and if a referendum if the LAs goes beyond this! Ore lies and more taxes from th Tory govt! Hammond gave savers more taxes at the ast budget. What for so May can give it away to the EU or overseas aid! We suffer while she literally throws our taxes away so the president of Mozambique can buy a new Bombadier jet! It might make her feel good it makes me sick of her stupidity.

          • Robert Christopher
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 2:22 am | Permalink

            But when there’s no mains electricity we can use the electricity stored in all the electric car’s battery. 🙂

          • stred
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            Believe it or not, the government is very keen on electric cars because, if we all had one, it would be possible to store the wildly fluctuating electricity from renewables for a short period. We would have to make the battery available to feed back into the mains when the wind stopped blowing and at night and during cloudy weather. Apparently, they have not worked out what we are supposed to do when we need the car or who pays for the battery wear. Anyone thinking this is ridiculous should google ‘decc smart grid’ and read without the Hot Air by MacKay.

      • Inverted sauce bottl
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Just because technology is available does not mean you should use it. Take the gizmo invented decade ago that automatically adjusts volume on a TV when you change channels and programmes, moves to adverts, or is just a poor audio recording. I heard years ago the patent holder wanted mega-millions for it. So I just have keep the volume control in my hand for hours and hours. We don’t need new technology. My TV switches on now with a ten minute delay whereas forty years ago it switched on immediately. A candle is certainly much better than my energy-saving bulb.
        There would be less overweight people if cars were abandoned as we would charge them twice or three times the bus fare…so wouldn’t see them so much…or rather, so often..

  5. David L
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Last night I drove from West Sussex to Wokingham avoiding the motorways because of the very wet weather. I lost count of the drivers coming towards me with fog lights ablaze. The glare from the wet roads was probably the major hazard of the journey. A PIF film about that might be in order!
    Your comments re-Winnersh Crossroads are too true. They are a main reason so many drivers take the Sindlesham Mill bridge route which is a traffic hazard in it’s own right.

  6. stred
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Our LA has altered the junctions on the main road into town near us 3 times in the last 7 years. Each time it costs millions and at the end of months of disruption the traffic is the same or worse, with longer times for bikes and often non-existent pedestrians. the pollution caused is increased. No wonder they need a big increase in Council Tax.

    The new ideas for digging up the last scheme come from the ministry and the nudgers.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      That was alway my impression living in North London for 20 odd years. Endless changes to traffic lights, junctions, environmental areas, no right turns no left turns etc. No real improvements unless you are a Road junction Builder or traffic light installer.

  7. agricola
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I can only agree in principal, lacking any specific knowledge of your constituency. Why however do planner always seem to tackle problems in an arse about face manner. Building the M1 before the M25 confirmed their thinking.

    On recent visits to Worcester I have observed the improvement of the link from the M5 to Malvern that crosses the A38 and a single carriageway bridge over the river Severn. The main problem is the bridge and the single carriageway that leads off to Malvern. The secondary problems are a footbridge and railway bridge that restrict road width on the road M5 to the river Severn bridge.

    Rather than sorting the problems first, the planners in their wisdom ,spent time and millions widening roads and building islands that in the case of the one at the A38 junction are not fit for purpose. It needs an underpass on the route over the Severn where the bulk of traffic heads. All they have achieved is a speedy route to the next bottleneck.
    Planners in the UK have a mind set geared to preventing things happening rather than making them happen.

  8. Caterpillar
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Although research (easy to find) generally recognises that junctions converted to roundabouts become safer (i.e. fewer serious injuries) this is not the case for cyclists. If putting these navigational obstacles in the way of cyclists then separate, protected cycle paths are needed (cycle lanes perform badly at roundabouts – people are still injured / die).

    W.r.t. the final paragraph – always on main roads – I have concern about the psychology of some drivers who frequent such routes. Often cars on main roads assume rights of way and drive through red lights at pelican crossings, I have experienced this rather closely myself on several occasions. If the aim is to keep the main roads flowing but the junctions safe then speed restrictions and enforcement approaching these junctions will probably be necessary, or general behavioural change in society. (I guess that consideration for others / trained behaviour in the UK population has gone down, even though live and let live attitude has also gone down. By not being strict on minor activities such as shoplifting, fly tipping, littering, dog fouling, using mobiles when driving etc., the cultural norms of behaviour become defined. There are areas where we need more liberty in the UK, but there are some areas of unnecessary behaviour that could be strictly punished as it costs people nothing to stop doing them)

  9. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    One of the biggest problems is the proliferation of mini roundabouts. We have two which give priority to the minor road on what was a tee junction.
    This has caused the minor road to become a rat run through the village to the A38.
    I notice in todays local paper there are plans to remove the island and install lights.
    Thousands wasted by the local authority on pointless fashionable non solutions.

  10. Yossarion
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Most congestion is caused by people parking on the roads, the solution is simple and cost free. Just because you buy a house does not give you the right to park on land that you do not own and obstructs others.

    • rose
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      If only we could have dedicated bike lanes at the sides of roads instead of parked cars, there would be even less congestion as the school run wouldn’t exist as it does today, and many other people in cars would be on their bikes. Obviously some lanes and roads would be too narrow.

      • rose
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        The other advantage of the Japanese way of not allowing parked cars on streets, is that when people can’t drive door to door, most of them don’t bother with cars in the first place. So even less congestion and a much fitter population.

    • jerry
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      @Yossarion; Put that another way, just because you buy a car, pay the VED and fuel excise duty, it doesn’t give you a right to use the roads!

      First you need to define “cause obstruction”, never mind that kerbside parking in built up areas is actually a very cheap and effective traffic calming measure….

      • rose
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        You may be too young to remember when policemen prevented roadside parking with the words: “You can’t leave that there ‘ere.” If challenged, they would say: “You are causing an obstruction.” Eventually they gave up and now they don’t even bother with pavement parking.

        • jerry
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          @rose; Indeed … those were the days when the police often made their own laws rather than simply enforcing the law of the land made by our elected govt!

          @Yossarion (below); Yes and if the road was free of parked cars such people just drive aggressively on the correct side of the road, in both cases any danger is not being caused by the parked cars but the drivers of the moving cars!

          You both are missing one important fact, drivers have no rights, only privileges, how ever much tax we pay.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          Rose, well on many modern estates there is simply nowhere for visitors to park without parking on the pavement because the roads are too narrow.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 1:07 am | Permalink

            True, often absurdly narrow roads on new estates so they can pack in more tiny houses, with tiny or no gardens, tiny rooms & usually small pokey windows too (so as to meet green crap regulations cheaply).

      • Yossarion
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Traffic calming, People just drive aggressively on the wrong side of the road, unless We are talking about the metropolitan elite with their one way system ( that PMs ride down the wrong way) Tubes and buses to die for, outside the M25 we have had rail projects curtailed. We will see if cross rail 2 hits the Buffers whilst the rest have a chance for electrification.

        • rose
          Posted December 28, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Do you by any chance live in the West Country? That part of the kingdom which is not London, not the North, not Scotland, not Wales, not the South East, and not even Northern Ireland? I wonder if East Anglia feels the same. At one time they tried to classify Gloucester as “Northern”, in order to get it some attention but I’m not sure it worked.

  11. Atlantic Span
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Your assumption regarding roundabouts is correct. Where I live,the council removed the traffic lights at a busy junction because they caused long tailbacks of traffic, and installed a mini-roundabout and the tailbacks disappeared.

  12. English Pensioner
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I’ve totally lost faith in local councils to plan anything!
    Our local council “planned” an island in the centre of the road right opposite a bus stop. The net result is that when a bus is at the stop, nothing can pass it. This brings traffic to a standstill, which almost immediately blocks a roundabout about 50 yards or so down the road. It’s been like this for a few years now, and the council must know, but I suspect no-one is prepared to admit that they made a mistake.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      I have noticed this arrangement too. It is probably policy, the thinking being that people alighting may need to cross the road and where better to put an island to facilitate this? Not going beyond ‘bureacrat-think’ and ‘elfnsafety’.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Mistake or congestion by design?

  13. Anonymous
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Intelligent traffic lights would be good. And an attitude from authorities that worked *with* drivers rather than deliberately trying to disincenitivise them.

    The last thing government actually wants is people to stop driving as it will mean taxes having to be raised by other means, so we have this bizarre situation whereby drivers are inconvenienced and punished whilst being forced to drive because of poor public transport and impossible housing costs.

    The police also need to be reminded that one of their primary duties is the regulation of traffic (per the legal definition of a Police Constable.) Recently I found a huddle of them speed ticketting drivers who’d just broken free from a nightmare snarl up just further up the road – they had seen the situation as an opportunity to capture people trying to make up time rather than sorting out the problem, temporary lights on an arbitary phase setting.

    There are more police officers than ever. Their duty now seems to be the pursuance of hate criminals and duplicate form filling.

  14. Mark B
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    As mentioned before here, by solving a localised problem all you are doing is pushing it further downstream. Only by actually facing the root cause can the issue its effects reduced.

    And can we please stop calling government expediture, investment ? It is an old Gordon Brown trick that fools no one. An investment is made in order to seek a return, usually money. Since I doubt that these roads are to be made toll roads I fail to see the use of such a term. It sounds so terribly New Labour /Soft Socialist.😝

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Well there are good investments and bad investments. The government are brilliant at selecting bad ones almost without exception. The ones the private sector would not fund (without subsidies) because they are daft. HS2, Hinkley C, Millennium Dome, electric cars (with current technology), most recent tram/metro systems, all the greencrap lunacy, aircraft carriers without planes, Concord …………..

      They care not what they spend, nor what value they get. So long as they get a nice job and fat pension seems to be the rule.

      See the excellent:-

      Time for an updated book.

  15. bigneil
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    You missed a couple of points John. First, the people who come to live here. Aren’t they supposed to take a UK driving test after so long? How many have come, maybe even with fake driving licenses from their own country, and are let loose on our roads to cause problems. Nothing seems to be done.
    Secondly, as shown on Police video programs, one group/family…………… have ONE license and ONE car that is insured. Then whoever takes the car out takes the documents and claims to be the named person if stopped by police. They do not care that they haven’t took any lessons or passed a test. It does not matter to them if they crash and maim/kill someone, because they will still be in the land of everything free on the taxpayer.
    One last thing – Can the MIB ban/block anyone found to be falsely claiming on “cash for crash” from EVER getting insured again?

  16. Bert Young
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    The traffic volume on the A4074 that passes by the hamlet where I live is so bad at times it is impossible to access it . Efforts to to persuade the Oxfordshire County Council to create a roundabout have all failed . This section of the A4074 is a connection between the M4 and the M40 so it is understandable why it is so busy ; local residents have appealed many times to resolve the issue but there is no sign of anything happening . Our MP doers not seem to have the sort of focus that John has .

  17. Javk snell
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Good old Wokingham..whenever the going gets tough its always comforting to know that we can always fall back on the old reliable constitutency stuff.. make as much trouble as you like on the national stage..tell lies..fake news..350 on the side of a bus all in the name of taking back control..but when it doesn’t turn out as expected then thete is always the bolt hole of local politics..traffic lanes, roundabouts and yelliw lines. Good old.Wokingham

    Reply I undertake constituency work all the time as part of my job. I was always clear about the gross and net sums involved in being a member of the EU and used both the gross and net figures throughout the campaign with explanations. £350m a week was the right figure for the gross contribution – it then went up.

    • rose
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      My criticism on this would be that the Leave campaigners didn’t make enough of the extra costs of belonging to the EU – all those one-0ff, off-the-books payments we were required to make and still are, and still will be in the future. Go to Brexit Facts4eu for some idea of the figures and destinations.

    • Bus advert maker
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      “…whenever the going gets tough…” 🙂 If only the Remain Campaign had put an advert on the side of a bus ” 350, it’s not true! ” Just a simple step and the battle would have been won.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 27, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        It is true, the benefits of leaving far exceed this figure.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Hi Newmania

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      If one is to assume that £350 million on the side of a bus was not the right side of the truth, then it is only fair to point out that the very reason such a claim was made, was because some rather larger porkie-pies were told quite sometime, and for sometime, in order to get us in, and stay, in the EEC/EC/EU.

      Let the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth be known !

      Reply It was the accurate gross figure at the time, which has since gone up.

  18. alan jutson
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The problem with the A329 Winnersh cross roads junction, is the fact that Wokingham Council allowed a well known Supermarket to have both entrances and exits located within 50 metres of this problem set of lights, when the phasing of these lights has caused problems for years, a simple no traffic light left turn with a separate feeder lane from the A329 eastern approach would help save this entry problem (although not unfortunately the exit).

    When the long standing joke (housing estate) Northern relief road is eventually built, it will also exit with planned traffic light control onto the A329, less than 500 metres from this junction, thus you will then have two sets of lights immediately before and after the M4 motorway bridge, as well as the Supermarket lights, meaning three sets of lights within 500 metres of this problem junction, causing further delays on the A329 which already tails back to the Woosehill roundabout you mention in your post at peak hour usage.

    Lack of any original or forward thinking by the Council is the cause I am afraid.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      “Lack of any original thought or forward thinking by the Council is the cause I am afraid”.

      I suspect it is not actually “a lack of any original thought or forward thinking by the Council at all”. It is just that their main concerns and their agenda are the paying large wages, expenses, bloated pensions, installing motorist mugging cameras, killing villages by parking charges and similar.

      They could not really give a damn about congestion. Indeed for the “green lunes” they rather like causing congestion to advance their cause. Look at the appalling mess that is Bristol!

      Not their money nor they who get the value of any congestion relief so what do they care. Far better to employ another “equality audit officer” or something similar, perhaps even a relative or good friend of theirs (by chance they could tip off) about the position?

  19. Derek Gardener
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Traffic lights should be positioned at major roundabouts to relieve congestion at peak times. But the time delays between lights have to first be calibrated to ensure the highest efficiency.
    I holidayed on Long Island NY and there were no roundabouts just the lights. Despite the heavy traffic we were not held up on green and were able to speed on. Another feature was that we were allowed to turn right on a red if the road was clear on the left. If such practice works so well in the USA why is it not adopted here?

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    One of the main causes of congestion is largely empty bus lanes. These (even for a small section) can restrict the capacity of a long road to perhaps just 60-70% of what it was before the lane was expensively installed. But as we know they are really interested in the cash cow camera income and congestion creation. Also bus occupancy can be as low as 5 or 6 from depot to depot during the whole of the day, less than you can fit in a people carrier. They are no more efficient than cars with say two or three in at all.

    They also take indirect routes to pick up passengers and stop every few hundred yards.
    Taxis are clearly cars. But they are obviously far less efficient than a self drive car as A they need a professional driver with all his CO2 need and B they often take two journeys to make on useful (passenger carrying) one.

    So where on earth is the logic in letting taxis use bus lanes as in say Bristol? Where is the logic in London of letting say Black Cabs use them but not the far less expensive and generally preferable UBER cabs? I refuse to take a black cab again until this pathetic attack on the gig economy (from May, Hammond, the EU and the courts) stops.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 28, 2017 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      Camera sites which are making millions should be scenes of utter carnage if the speed limit has been set right.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 28, 2017 at 12:51 am | Permalink

      “Where is the logic in London of letting say Black Cabs use them but not the far less expensive and generally preferable UBER cabs?”

      Because UBER cabs are not plated, licenced cabs. The App is being used as a technical get-around from the illegality of hailing none Hackney cabs from the side of the road.

      Let’s de-licence every trade, Lifelogic. I’m up for it. Are you ?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        They are licensed mini cabs.

  21. Raymond
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I was taught that in traffic engineering safety is all. For instance capacity and traffic flows can sometimes be increased at traffic lights by allowing opposing flows to run on green at the same time; but this may not be permitted because it is deemed (or shown to be) unsafe. Generally traffic lights often work better in urban areas as they can be made to facilitate pedestrian and cycle movements as well as motor vehicles (as well as the issue of space). It sometimes aids throughput of traffic flows by linking traffic light junction timings.

  22. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    In addition to the suggestions made, I would like to see a rather more adventurous approach to keep traffic moving on the main routes where in some cases roundabouts are a real hindrance, out in the country. There are many routes where minor roads often carrying little traffic traverse the main one. Main route traffic must slow to navigate the roundabouts there, busy or not.

    The authorities ought to create underpasses or cuttings beneath the roundabouts as a matter of routine to enable main route traffic to travel through with no interruption, only not doing so where lack of space or geology prevents it, coupled with where space also permits more use of filter off exits to the left so vehicles leaving the main route and going left at this point don’t have to enter the roundabout. There should also be a benefit from a reduction in emissions as the slow down/accelerate process on the main route will be eliminated.

  23. Prigger
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    If you live on a housing estate you will notice some people have a problem. Certain households overflow with vehicles.Every street has at least three of these. Addiction to gambling drugs, alcohol are well-known. Problem addiction to vehicles and driving has never been noted as a far as I am aware. But it is very widespread, also the universal use of a hammer in fixing all known maintenance issues 24/7.Home Ownership is another addiction, problem. But I digress.
    The truth is, we don’t have enough room in the UK for such.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      If grown kids are living at home then it’s bound to happen.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      We have more than enough room in the ‘UK’. It is just England and the particular South East and London that the problem exists. Everyone wants to live and work there.

      Solution ? Those that have no jobs and are living on the State need to be moved to Scotland or other less densely populated areas of the UK. This will free up homes, schools, public transport, surgeries and hospitals.

      Not nice, but when someone who is trying to access these services and has to take a day off work, when a person who is living on benefits can pick and choose when and were with no loss of income, why should they mind ?

  24. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    In my area , I have often wondered why the roads which sometimes flow fairly well can suffer a half mile tail back at others. I only live a couple of miles away from my place of work , sometimes it can take 45 mins and at other times a mere 10 mins. The factors at play are school holidays, the weather, where there is slower moving traffic and a phenomenon which is difficult to find the cause. The lights and the roundabouts are always there , but the flow of traffic changes. I would think that more accidents are likely at roundabouts though where motorists charge out at the last minute creating havoc although for the more sensible driver, roundabouts keep the flow. I would like to add that motoring on roads is team work. Where drivers let others from a different direction change lanes by being polite and working together all get to their destination quicker and safer. The BBC or other media should put out the safe driving advertisements again decrying the ‘road hogs.’

  25. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    work, where correction

  26. lojolondon
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    John is totally correct here. The Romans brought the roundabout to Britain 3000 years ago, and they have worked fine ever since. Big engineering companies brought us traffic lights less than 100 years ago, and they would never have caught on except for the overseas trips offered by these companies to councils for ‘foreign research on traffic control’. Traffic lights cost over £100,000 per set, (For 4 steel poles, 12 light bulbs and a switching unit!) – that gives you a rough idea of the profitability of these silly things!!

    Bring back the roundabout!

  27. Bob
    Posted December 27, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    The Bow Group has called for Lord Heseltine to be expelled from the Tories in the House of Lords after he suggested a Corbyn lead government should take power to stop Brexit.

    • rose
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Enoch urged people to vote Labour to get us out. He had quite an effect.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 28, 2017 at 1:15 am | Permalink

        But Enoch was right 0n this and Heseltine is totally wrong.

        • rose
          Posted December 28, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          Enoch was right on most things. He thought about them first.

          • rose
            Posted December 28, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            My main point was really that the Labour Party in government let Enoch down, as it surely would Lord Heseltine.

    • Sergeant Bilko
      Posted December 27, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      He had a sterling career in the army.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Whilst I vehemently disagree with the Noble Lord in question, I do not believe kicking him out for expressing his opinion is right. But that ultimately is for those in the Conservative Party.

      But his Lord should be reminded that, the Leader of the Labour Party has a voting record which suggests that he may not indeed be a friend of the EU anyway.


  28. Rien Huizer
    Posted December 28, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    When you buy a car in Singapore, you need a COE (Certificate of Entitlement ) to actually use it and when you use certain roads, the mandatory ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) charges you for that automatically (overhead signs warn you that ERP is in operation). This combined with an excellent public transport system gvt controlled but partially listed to ensure efficiency) results in very smooth traffic. Parking on roads is mostly banned. It would not work in thinly populated areas of course, but surrounding metropolitan areas toll gates (and maybe barbed wire and moats) would make this marvellous solution feasible. Just find an electorate as patriotic and unselfish as Singapore’s. Brexit is easier..

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 28, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Rein Huizer

      We’re happy to bugger on but are displeased with the unexpected rise in population.

      So how do you square mass immigration and patriotism then ?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted December 31, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Find a way to see the difference between satire and opinion..I thought someone would bring up the immigration nonsense. Of course the Singapore solution would not work for reasons I mention above (“surrounding…moats”). What you might find interesting is that the Singapore government wants to expand the population a lot further, requiting some 3-4 million extra immigrants (the Spore born population is less tha 3 million and total population stands at appr 6 million now. All in an area of 15 x 15 miles . A few million immigrants in a UK with ten times the population and a hundred times the land mass should be no problem at all, and as you know the employment level among the immigrants (especially the EU ones) is much higher than the locally born. Anyway, kep repeating that UKIP nonsense and soon enough you will believe it.

    • Bob
      Posted December 28, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      @Rien Huizer
      Singapore is a small city state with a population of 5 million.
      The traffic still gets snarled up, and taxis are not always easy to come by.
      Hong Kong is better.

  29. MikeP
    Posted December 28, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    You’ve made the case for more roundabouts many times before, and I wholeheartedly support your views yet we still have inaction, bad action or no action on our local roads. Three examples may illustrate this:
    1 firstly at Coppid Beech roundabout the lights are crying out to be switched off outside peak hours since traffic is frequently held with little or no traffic competing at the junctions
    2 secondly the supposed double lane approaches into the infamous Tesco roundabout are so narrow, and the pavements at some points so wastefully wide, that traffic can rarely use both lanes at once defeating the point of the design. Our road builders have got to cater for the vehicle widths we have now, not what existed 20-30 years ago. We face similar design nonsense with hatched off areas for turning traffic at the BP garage south of the town centre and the junction of Eastheath Avenue and Molly Millars Lane. The hatched off areas are either too narrow to be of any use or don’t have sufficient space for passing traffic to flow freely. When I’ve mentioned this to the Council, this madness is met by an explanation that widths are set by Central Government and our junctions and lane widths comply. Great !?
    3 finally a once reasonably successful roundabout along the B3430 towards Bracknell has been removed (roadworks in progress) leaving me to presume that the traffic light lobby has won yet again?
    Anyway good luck in gaining any agreement to improve our roads.

  30. Pauline Jorgensen
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    The other jam on the Lower earley peripheral road is caused by the roundabout with the road to Sindlesham Mill, people use this as a rat run and this means that the main bypass traffic queues back towards Shinfield most mornings. In my view, and in the view of many Hillside residents, the traffic congestion has got considerably worse since Reading Borough put up traffic lights by the Sportsman Pub causing people to avoid the area and instead travel via the Lower Earley peripheral road and use the Wokingham Road to get into Reading. These lights also cause queues on Wilderness Road and Elm Road. I am not clear why Reading Borough were permitted to constrain the flow of traffic in this way?

  • 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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