The UK government is commencing a consultation over how to deal with the lack of road capacity on the western and south western section of the M25.
I attended a meeting with the Roads Minister, Andrew Jones, and his officials in the Commons to discuss the issues and hear the plans for the consultation. They will draw up a project to resolve the lack of transport capacity in the area. Only 2 MPs attended, so I had plenty of opportunity to explore matters with the Minister.
The Minister’s officials confirmed that the Statutory consultees will include local MPs and principal Councils. I sought and received an assurance that Wokingham Borough will be one of the consultees, as the study is considering places beyond the M 25 as well as places within the M 25 affected by it and related roads.
I pointed out that we are short of peak hours railway capacity as well as short of road capacity. I reminded them that the western part of the M25 has many junctions in a short distance which adds to congestion, and has to handle the ever growing traffic volumes for Heathrow. The road takes a lot of long haul traffic seeking to get round London by the west, as well as local traffic going just one or two junctions as part of a journey that may straddle the motorway.
The Minister agreed that the study needs to consider the wider issues of the routes of the A 329M, A 322 and A 404. I raised again the question of bridge capacity over the Thames. The Minister reminded me that they were also considering cross country links not entailing using the M25.
I would be happy to hear views on the possible solutions. I will write in with a formal submission later in the process.