Gridlocked traffic is killing village tradeBy Jon Nurse
July 13, 2012
Angry traders say Twyford is “dying on its feet” as ongoing roadworks are grinding traffic to a halt.
Roadworks on the A4 have forced traffic along Wargrave Road and Old Bath Road, while traffic lights at the village’s crossroads, which quickly turn to red, are causing cars to back up in Wargrave Road.
Emergency gas work in Old Bath Road and digging in Wargrave Road to solve electrical faults further compounded drivers’ misery in June.
To traders’ further dismay, Wokingham Borough Council announced this week Old Bath Road will be closed for three weeks from Saturday, July 21, for essential repairs to be made to two bridges.
Heather Mailley, of Twyford Lighting in High Street, said: “All the traders are saying trade is down and our customers are complaining – the village is dying on its feet.
“We are losing hundreds of pounds. Two of my delivery vans have said they will stop deliveries if it gets worse. That’s how bad it’s got.
“It’s going to be dreadful when the bridge closes. No-one has told us anything. I know work has to be done but they haven’t thought it through.
“It’s too much in one go.”
Old Bath Road will be closed between Edwards Road and Weavers Way.
Andy Yapp, of Parkers Estate Agents in Wargrave Road, said: “It’s going to be chaos all over again when the bridges close. Everyone will need to go down the Wargrave Road to get into the village and I expect that will create a huge backlog of traffic.
“At the moment it take can more than 30 minutes to get back to the office once you come off the A4.
“It must be awful for parents collecting their children from school.”
Gordon Storey, of Twyford Village Partnership Business Forum, said: “I was waiting at the lights on Wargrave Road this week and only four cars got through the green light before it changed. There’s still the same problem with the sensors as before.
“They said they were changing them to intelligent traffic lights – well they don’t seem too intelligent to me.
“All this isn’t doing business in the village any good. There seems to be a lack of joined-up thinking with all these roadworks.”
Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and planning, said: “There is an issue on the bridge of water seepage and with all the rain we are having at the moment the longer you leave it the more damage is being done.
“It’s unfortunate it’s all happened at the same time but if we don’t do it now we could have a problem of an unsafe bridge.
“We accept there is a problem with the traffic lights at Twyford crossroads and it will take a bit of work. The work is scheduled to be done.”
Resurfacing work is also planned for the A4 between the Pound Lane roundabout and Old Bath Road roundabout this summer, with one lane of the Reading-bound carriageway to be closed.