More safety fears over SDRBy Laura Herbert
November 02, 2012
Concerns are still being raised about the safety of a main road that will run through the heart of a new development in south Wokingham.
A Southern Distributor Road (SDR) will run through the 650-home development at Buckhurst Farm connecting London Road with Finchampstead Road.
The Wokingham Society, Greater Langborough, Priest Avenue and Froghall Drive residents’ associations, neighbourhood action groups and councillors met Wokingham Borough Council officers at The Bradbury Centre, in Rose Street, to find out more on Monday night.
Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and planning, said: “There’s a lot of confusion about the SDR, the route, how solid it is, can it be changed etc.
“I think this has been brought about because there are a large number of documents referring to it at different weights.
“The road within the Buckhurst Farm Strategic Development Location (SDL) is now fixed, but what is not fixed is what is going on the route such as traffic islands and crossings.
“We are all; residents, officers and councillors, concerned about the impact of HGVs. We can’t put up a sign saying ‘no HGVs’.
“If we are going to go down the legal route, we would have to impose a weight limit.
“Unfortunately, this weight limit includes a public transport bus which means it makes it almost impossible to have a bus route.”
Council officers estimate 1,400 cars will use the SDR during peak hours in the morning and 1,100 cars during peak evening times in 2026.
David Nash, of Greater Langborough Residents’ Association, suggested the main road should run around the edge of the estate, similar to the layout in Lower Earley.
He said: “Me and others suggested separating the road for high volume traffic and the local traffic which is resident or delivery traffic.”
Les Roland, chair of Froghall Drive Residents’ Association, said: “Consultants said you don’t have a road carrying heavy traffic and pedestrians crossing it.
“You can put in all sorts of crossings and make the roads wider, but in the long run it comes down to what is the safest and the safest way is two roads.
“Safety is the most important thing.”
Bob Gunn, of Priest Avenue Residents’ Association, added: “You maximise safety by not bringing pedestrians into contact with traffic to start with.
“I really don’t know how we arrived at this design but if this is set in stone, we have to make the best of a bad job.”
A detailed planning application from developers David Wilson Homes is due to be submitted before Christmas and Wokingham people will have a chance to influence what will go on the road by commenting on the plans.