ROAD ISSUES FOR WOKINGHAM BOROUGH
The main traffic flows in our area are east/west. There are three main routes, the A329M/A3290, A329, and the national M4 . The A327 in conjunction with the B3349 also provides a Wokingham to Reading east/west link around Arborfield/Shinfield. To the north of my constituency lies the A4 and to the south the A 30 and the M3. The A4 has reduced capacity following de trunking and the imposition of traffic calming measures. Both the A 30 and the A 4 have short sections of dual capacity with pinch points elsewhere. There is insufficient capacity on all these roads individually and in combination.
The government has announced plans to increase capacity on the M4 by one third, but local roads also need extra capacity.
The A327 will benefit from the Shinfield and Arborfield by passes. It also needs flood prevention measures to the east of Shinfield, and resolution of the delays caused by aggressive traffic lights on the south Reading section.
The A 329 blocks regularly thanks to light controlled junctions in Wokingham and Winnersh. A Winnersh by pass might tackle the Winnersh issue but we need to see whether there is a sensible route. Shorter term and cheaper options are a roundabout at the Broad Street junction in Wokingham and remodelling of the Winnersh junction with changes to phasings of lights with traffic sensors. The double light sets for the foodstore and the junction create considerable difficulties and delays.
The A329M will need more capacity in each direction and better access from the Winnersh Triangle entry in due course. Immediately the traffic lights should be withdrawn from the two approach roundabouts to the motorway at the Winnersh exit and from the Winnersh Triangle approach roundabout or the lights made peak time only.
North South traffic is lighter than East/west, but road capacity is far too small for current volumes. The main obstacles are the river and two East/west railway lines with inadequate bridges. There are two principal routes, the A 321 from the M3 in the south to Henley via Wokingham, and the A 327 from Eversley to Reading via Shinfield. The B3030 route from Arborfield to Hurst where it links with the A 321 is also an important north/south corridor.
The river crossing at Sonning has just a one way at a time bridge with one mile queues as a regular peak feature.There is little that can be done about this given the nature of the bridge and setting. The back bridges and approach road from the north could be improved further by Oxfordshire which would help.
The two way bridge at Henley is backed by a light controlled junction, which creates two mile tail backs during the long rowing/festival periods, and one mile tail backs at normal peaks. The route of the minor road intercepting the A 321 by the riverside in Henley and the traffic lights are a bigger cause of the jams than the bridge itself. Wokingham has long supported a 3rd crossing but neighbouring Councils remain opposed.
People wishing to go north on the national highway network from the Wokingham constituency are more likely to use national roads, by heading east on the M4 to use the bridges on the A 404(M) over the river and railway, or heading west to the A 34 trunk which also has good bridges over river and railway. Both these routes can entail substantial detours and place additional strain on the east/west national highway for what are south/north journeys.
The railway crossing at the Finchampstead Road does not permit two way traffic flows with large vehicles and is now scheduled for improvement. One rail bridge crossing in Wokingham is insufficient and an additional one is scheduled. The rail crossing in Winnersh does flow. The three sets of barrier controlled level crossings in the Wokingham area are major impediments to traffic flow and are potentially dangerous, so additional bridge routes that take most of the flow are necessary.
Twyford is a major north/south bottleneck on the A321, including parking on the main highway to pick and put down passengers for the station. This is outside my constituency.
Cycle lanes and routes should be segregated from these main roads. London has experienced an alarming increase in cycling deaths with cycle lanes and more cycle use of main roads without physical separation from traffic. The Council should identify footpaths and pavements that could be converted, and verges and alternative routes that could provide safer segregated capacity for bikes.