Safer junctions and better traffic flows?

I had a good meeting on Friday with Councillor Pauline Jorgensen of Wokingham Borough Council and her officers dealing with roads and traffic. She has ideas to  to cut congestion, improve safety and get the traffic flowing more smoothly. These things do take some time to design, plan and put into the budget.

I talked to  her  about various ideas for junction improvements as much of the delay and danger occurs at road intersections and where people need to cross the traffic as pedestrians. She is keen to make a difference to her portfolio as Executive member for roads and transport.

I would be interested to hear from constituents their ideas for how local roads and junctions could be improved, both by short term fixes and by longer term more substantial improvements. I have passed on some specifics to the Council for consideration. The general ideas  that might help include

 

Short term/lower cost changes

Change light priorities to give more prominence to main roads with heavy flows

Change traffic light sets with single direction flows into sets allowing both direction flows for more of the time

Introduce good traffic sensors on all light sets, allowing reversion to main road as green for off peak, with red on the main road only when there is traffic on the side roads coming into the junction, and allowing flexed times for busy routes proportional to traffic.

Change road painting to allow segregated right turn lane where space permits

Indicate left turning on red by filter light where possible

Extend two lane queues where space permits rather than one lane

Ensure there is plenty of parking, avoiding parking on main roads in ways which impede flows. .

Encourage schools to make safe arrangements for car drop off and pick up of pupils off the main road

 

Short term dearer proposals

Replace light sets by roundabouts where possible

Create safe bike and pedestrian routes off the main highways

Have sufficient safe pedestrian crossings geared to light phases at light controlled  junctions.

 

Longer Term proposals

Extra road  bridge over east west railway line in Wokingham as on the current plans

Improved capacity on Earley peripheral and at Loddon roundabout

More by passes of villages as with Shinfield, Arborfield and Winnersh.

Completion of a good east -west vehicle route for local traffic

Extra capacity on A 329M/A3290

 

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. Colin Iles
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    We clearly need to do away with all three road/rail crossings that hold up traffic for painful periods and also restrict expansion of rail services. I am aware of your frequent comments on this score, John so I expect you will be mentioning it anyway. I still think there was a missed opportunity where a road bridge could have been put across the railway linking the Elms Field area with Molly Millers Industrial estate thereby tackling both the station crossing and the narrow low bridges problems.
    However another thing that I have said ever since moving into the Wokingham area is we desperately need a westerly access to/from the massive Woosehill estate. I would have thought that there was an opportunity to integrate this with the Arborfield/Shinfield/Sindlesham road developments currently being undertaken by Highways England(?).

    • Posted May 24, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      As a Woosehill resident, I would prefer not to have a busy road through the estate where I live. Access to the West is easy if you choose to walk or cycle.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted May 25, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

        Reading Cycle campaign.

        We would all prefer not to live with busy roads, but afraid your dream of everyone getting on a bike or walking is not a reality.

        Yes of course their should options for walking, cycling, running, getting on a bus or train, etc etc if that is your choice.

        Most people do not work locally so for them walking to work is impossible, and local tradesmen cannot carry their tools their pockets or saddle bags.

        Wokingham Council have already spent over £6.4 million locally on cycle ways, but still cyclists use the roads and pavements adjacent to where such cycle ways exist.

        It would have been far better if the Council had planned major infrastructure first, and before new housing development, instead of afterwards, but we are where we are now, and we need solutions for our overloaded infrastructure

        • Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Mr Redwood chose not to approve my lengthy post on better cycle facilities in Wokingham, which included a request that off-road cycleways are improved. The Highway Code rules on junctions need to be changed if cycleways are to become popular, so I hope Mr Redwood will support British Cycling’s Turning the Corner campaign.
          Regarding increasing levels of cycling, most car journeys are less than 3 miles and are not by tradespeople. It is realistic to aim to increase levels of cycling from 3% to 5 or 10%, which would reduce car traffic by the same amount. Cambridge, Oxford and London have levels way over 10%. It requires vision.

          Reply You had already posted and the second one was very long. I have repeatedly urged contributors to be concise and to go easy on multiple postings. I would also prefer to know who you are and whether you are a constituent

          • Alan Jutson
            Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            It we are talking about the highway code perhaps we should prosecute cyclists who have no lights on at night, do not wear any reflective jackets/tabards, and are wired in for sound with earphones on so they cannot hear traffic, not to mention running red lights.

            Perhaps when approaching pedestrians from the rear when cycling on a pavement on a bike (you would have been prosecuted for that many years ago), the use of a bell as a warning may help preserve possible injury to both, although I know bells are out of fashion.

            No I have not got a down on cyclists, it is a very, very efficient way to travel, indeed I have cycled thousands of miles on a bike over many years when in my youth, but self preservation by many seems rather lacking in recent years.

            Whatever happened to the old cycle proficiency tests of the past, which used to be held at/in schools to encourage awareness.

            Having been a cyclist it is why I always try to leave as much room for them as possible when driving, as road surface conditions, drains, white lines etc, can play havoc with control even when cycling sensibly.

          • Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

            As I live in Woosehill, I am a constituent. I have written to you previously as a constituent using the Email address I posted under and that included my name and address. I appreciate the post was longer, but it detailed specific problems in Wokingham. I wish you has approved that and not the shorter one. However, I do appreciate your time, and do not feel this needs to be posted if you prefer not to.

            Reply Thank you. If you would like to follow up then I would be happy to receive an email

          • Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            Alan – Reading Cycle Campaign supports the Highway Code although it wants changes made, and wants action to get all people who cycle to use lights. All those who break traffic laws should be prosecuted appropriately, which is why RCC has called for the Government to reverse the cuts in roads policing that have occurred since 2010.
            The replacement for Cycling Proficiency is Bikeability. Most schools offer Level 1 training. For a number of years, RCC offered Level 3 Bikeability training to members. I recommend it if you cycle.

  2. Alex
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    How about getting rid of the dozens of traffic lights that have sprung up everywhere over the last few years? More time is wasted by more people at lights than anywhere else.

  3. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 21, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Why no right turn from Shute end into the Station, such a simple thing to do at the time as traffic could filter right whist on green ahead, so no need to alter traffic light phasing at all.
    Would also mean shorter journey times from the eastern side of Town.

    Also widen the silly little offloading area just in front of the Station, a pull in one metre deep means car doors open onto a road flowing with traffic, which seems a nonsense.

    Why do Wokingham Council insist on using coloured tarmac covering in green, beige, and red, this thin so called anti skid covering makes the town look like Toytown and typically starts to wear after 12 months.
    A329 covered in it to the west of the Town, put down in November last year on a brand new road surface and already showing signs of wear in some places.

    Do we really need expensive anti skid coloured surfaces on a cycle path ?

    Interesting that due to its application about 5-8 mm thick it can trap water which when it freezes then starts to crack up the actual road surface.
    Just view the road where it has been applied on your travels when driving around the area.

    How much does all of this cost when the money could be better spent maintaining our roads in a better condition.

  4. Pauline Jorgensen
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, I am very interested to hear your ideas and suggestions, there is no substitute for local knowledge of individual roads. I will pass your ideas back to council officers for review and I am always happy to receive suggestions by email as well at…
    pauline.jorgensen@wokingham.gov.uk

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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