Worries over disruption during water mains upgradeBy Jon Nurse
July 16, 2012
More than 60 people seized the chance to find out about a £2 million project to upgrade the town’s water mains, starting this month.
South East Water will carry out work on 7.1km of main roads running through the heart of Wokingham, including London Road, Rose Street, Broad Street and Station Road from Monday, July 23.
The work, which is scheduled to last around nine months, will significantly reduce burst water mains in the town centre.
The water company hosted a consultation event at Wokingham Town Hall, in Market Place, last Tuesday.
During the first phase of the work, Station Road will be closed for six weeks, while temporary traffic lights and a one-way system will be used in London Road for 16 weeks.
Ian Hydson, of Station Road, said: “I know they are trying to start the work during the summer holidays which will be less disruptive, but there will still be a lot of disruption.
“We will need proper updates to explain how access is going to work around the town.
“They’ll be working in the daytime, which I definitely prefer to nighttime.
“It’s noise and potential water loss that concerns me most.
“It’s going to be quite chaotic. I’m a member of the Methodist Church in Rose Street and I think that will be difficult to access during the work.”
Building surveyor Mike Clough believes the road closures could impact his work.
He said: “I have to drive to sites around the borough and I’m concerned it might take hours to get to sites. We have contractors working who can’t afford to spend hours waiting to get to jobs.
“I hope they will pay some compensation if we can show how we’ve lost out in the situation.”
Wokingham town councillor Patrick Hennessey added: “A lot of the work is going to affect my ward of Norreys.
“It’s much better planned than we first thought and hopefully the disruption won’t be as much of an issue as we first imagined.
“As the town is growing we have to update this and unfortunately it is likely to be painful as we do it.
“I expect there will be quite a lot of congestion along London Road, but they have to do that bit.”
Jo Shippey, of South East Water, said: “It’s been quite busy today. We’ve had a constant stream of people through the day and it’s been a mix of councillors, businesses and residents.
“We are planning to do something similar again as we approach the town centre.
“Pretty much everyone has been understanding of why the work needs to take place, but they are concerned over the level of disruption, and we want to ease their concerns.
“With road closures people will still be able to park in their drives, and deliveries will still be able to come in.”
|ROAD||APPROX START DATE||PROPOSED DURATION||TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT|
|London Road||July 23||16 weeks||Temporary traffic lights/one-way system|
|Station Road||July 23||6 weeks||Road closure|
|Woosehill Meadows||August 27||2 weeks||None required|
|Ellison Way||August 28||7 weeks||Temporary traffic lights|
|Station Approach||September 1||6 weeks||Manual traffic management|
|London Road (Coppid Beech junction)||September 3||10 weeks||Temporary traffic lights|
|Oxford Road||September 3||8 weeks||Road closure|
|Caroline Drive||October 29||2 weeks||Road closure|
|Wiltshire Road||November 12||4 weeks||Road closure|
|Rose Street||November 12||10 weeks||Road closure|
|Arthur Road||November 12||1 week||Road closure|
|Brookside||December 3||6 weeks||Road closure|
|Brookside to Reading Road||January 28, 2013||7 weeks||TBC|
|Broad Street||February 11, 2013||5 weeks||Road closure/one-way system|
|Shute End||March 18, 2013||6 weeks||Road closure|
|Norreys Avenue||TBC||TBC||Temporary traffic lights|
|Toutley Road||October 1, 2012||January 31, 2013||TBC|