A NEW road currently being built in Arborfield has received a boost after receiving Government funding.
On Thursday, August 1, roads minister Baroness Vere announced a £24 million investment for the Arborfield Cross Relief Road, which will link the A327 Reading Road to the A327 Eversley Road.
The ACRR is one of a number of major infrastructure projects planned by the council as it seeks to accommodate the large number of houses coming to the borough by 2036.
It will link up with the Shinfield Relief Road which opened at the end of October 2017.
As well as the green bridge, there will also be a 3m shared foot and cycle path along the length of the relief road.
The road will have a speed limit of 50mph, following consultation with Thames Valley Police and street lighting is not proposed for some sections.
The scheme is almost one-and-a-half miles long and planning permission was granted last year. A recent archaeological dig found an Underground Monitoring Post (UGMP) dating back to the Cold War.
The funding is the latest in a string of investments made by the Department for Transport to improve local roads.
Baroness Vere said: “Roads are part of the fabric of everyday life – stimulating local economies and helping bring communities together.
“This vital £24m scheme will provide a new route for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians, helping reduce traffic through local routes and making towns a nicer place to live.”
The road was needed as traffic modelling predicts that by 2026, without the relief road, rush hour traffic through Arborfield Cross would increase to around 3,200 vehicles per hour, risking worsening congestion, queues and delays as frustrated drivers take alternative routes including rural lanes unsuitable for traffic.
The scheme aims to divert traffic away from busier routes and is part of a £6.6 billion project from the department between 2015 and 2021 to ensure roads are fit for purpose.
In a statement, the leader of Wokingham Borough Council, Cllr John Halsall said: “This is exceptional news for the borough, reducing congestion is a principal objective for us at Wokingham and we welcome this funding to assist in the delivery of the identified infrastructure.”
It is hoped that the new route will also benefit keen cyclists in Wokingham, who will receive greater access to the areas around Berkshire through the inclusion of a 3m wide pathway alongside the eastern side of the proposed carriageway.
And Executive Member for Transport at Wokingham Borough Council, Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, said: “I am delighted that the Government has given us £24m of funding to help reduce congestion in Arborfield and Arborfield Cross by funding the road infrastructure we so badly need.
“The new route will also benefit keen cyclists, who will get improved access to the areas around Berkshire through the inclusion of a 3m wide pathway alongside the eastern side of the proposed carriageway.
“The plans are part of our wider strategic roads infrastructure investment, the balance of which is funded by developer funding. This particular road is set to unlock major housing developments and drive economic growth, enabling 3,500 homes to be built at Arborfield Garrison.”