£2.75 million traffic scheme to start
October 29, 2012
A multi-million pound project to improve bus services and install state-of-the-art traffic lights to ease congestion along the A329 gets under way this month.
The works are the first phase of a scheme across the borough, thanks to Wokingham Borough Council’s successful bid for £2.75 million funding from the Department for Transport under the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).
A key aspect of the bid is to reduce car usage and achieve a 10 per cent increase in public transport usage along the A329.
From the end of this month, 750 people living in Winnersh will be offered incentives and personalised travel plans, which aim to help them consider all transport options including cycling and bus services.
Travel plans, which are already used in schools, will be rolled out across the borough in the next two years. Businesses based at Thames Valley Park, in Earley, will also be offered similar travel planning advice for staff, such as car sharing schemes to help save money on fuel bills and reducing the number of cars used for commuting in Wokingham.
From next month, work will start to install traffic lights at the Three Tuns junction in Wokingham Road which react to real-time traffic flows.
The new system aims to ease congestion, therefore reducing journey times and carbon dioxide emissions.
The junction will also be resurfaced, and improvements made for cyclists and pedestrians, which are due to be finished by Christmas.
On public transport, First has introduced extra peak-time journeys on its 190 bus route and the council plans to replace the current real-time information screens along the route, between Wokingham and Reading.
Improvements in future phases will include enhanced bus shelter provision and raised kerbs to help passengers to board buses.
The LSTF was awarded to Wokingham Borough Council from a £560 million funding pot for councils to improve sustainable transport and boost economic growth during the next three years.
Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and planning, said: “These initial projects mark the start of the process to ease congestion on this vital through route.
“This will directly contribute to the economic wellbeing of our leading companies keeping them competitive in an ever challenging environment. I look forward to subsequent phases where cycling becomes a focus of attention.”
Wokingham’s LSTF programme has the support of neighbouring councils, South West Trains, First and Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.