Fears expressed over Station Link Road schemeBy Laura Herbert
August 02, 2012
There are fears a multi-million pound scheme to ease congestion in Wokingham will move bottlenecks to elsewhere in the town.
Plans for the borough’s Station Link Road scheme, between Wokingham railway station forecourt and A329 Reading Road, have now been submitted to Wokingham Borough Council.
The scheme also includes new signal junctions in Reading Road, Shute End and Wellington Road, and improved pedestrian and cyclists facilities.
The investment in the link road is part of a wider project with Network Rail and South West Trains to demolish the railway station and rebuild it a short distance further down the track.
Although the plans aim to reduce congestion, there are concerns it will create problems in other parts of the town centre.
Melanie Mackie, who lives off Oxford Road, said: “The congestion is, as it stands, a nightmare but for us, it’s the Oxford Road junction.
“We are only going to be able to turn right instead of left and I’m not sure how that is going to benefit everybody because it is still a problem.
“It’s an inconvenience for the people who live in this part of Wokingham.”
Mrs Mackie added: “On the whole I think it’s good for Wokingham. Something has to change as they [the council] are limited as to what they can do.
“It’s a big job and having the link road I’m sure will make a lot of difference.”
Commenting on the plans online, one person, who also raised concerns about the Oxford Road area, said:
“There are serious concerns about the impact of traffic flow around the sites of Walter Infant School [in Murray Road], St Paul’s Junior [Oxford Road], and Meadow Nursery [Murray Road] which we feel have not been taken fully into account.”
The plans, which were submitted following a consultation earlier this year, were backed by 62 per cent of people in Wokingham.
Originally, cul-de-sac Alderman Willey Close was to become a through-route for traffic, but this has now been changed to a footpath following objections from residents.
An Alderman Willey Close resident said: “I agree the single carriageway should go ahead as soon as possible. It should make a lot of difference to traffic flow.”
The planning application asks to demolish 48 and 50 Reading Road and build the 336m long link road connecting Wellington Road and A329 Reading Road which will be part one-way and part two-way, create a combined footway and cycleway along the link road, a transport interchange at Wokingham railway station, four new traffic signal controlled junctions, two noise barriers and pedestrian crossings.
The transformation of Wokingham town centre is gathering pace as last month, the regeneration of the town centre took a huge leap forward as the development agreement between the council and developers was signed and a planning application to transform Peach Place is expected to be handed to the council soon.
A decision on the Station Link Road application is expected to be made by the council’s planning committee in October.