FIXING flooding of the Showcase Roundabout to ensure it doesn’t happen again would be a priority if the Liberal Democrats won control of the borough council in May.
That was a promise made by the Liberal Democrat deputy leader Cllr Clive Jones in the council chamber on Thursday, February 20.
He was speaking during the budget debate and opened by referring to the flooding, caused by the River Loddon bursting its banks following Storm Dennis.
There was significant flooding across the Winnersh area, forcing the garden centre to close, and caused several cars to get stuck in the water that blighted the roundabout.
Motorists also faced long delays and road closures as a result.
“Once again (this week) the Showcase Cinema roundabout has flooded causing incredible traffic congestion and delay for residents,” he said. “Dealing with this problem must now become a priority for the Council it certainly will be if the Lib Dems take control this May.”
And Cllr Paul Fishwick, the Lib Dem spokesperson for Wokingham’s highways and transport, said: “The Roads and Transport section of the budget totalling £184.7 million over three years sounds good and is 36% of the capital budget.
“While this is supported, when one looks back at similar budgets over the past few years you get the feeling of repeated promises to deliver, especially in the New Roads area.
“For example, Lower Earley Way was scheduled for completion in February 2018, actual completion November 2019, 21 months late.
“Winnersh Relief Road Phase 2, scheduled for completion February 2018, NOT even properly started yet.
“Therefore, this is not all new money, but funding that hasn’t been spent in previous years being rolled forward due to delays.”
He added: “The Liberal Democrats would have planned for this essential infrastructure in advance to mitigate the problems that we now have.”
Cllr Fishwick also vowed a different approach to the way in which the council tackled potholes and road repairs.
“Repeated call-outs to the same location is not an efficient way of spending funding when one visit would suffice,” he said.
“For example I know of 14 call-outs to the same 1sq m area of carriageway that has been marked up for permanent repair twice, but never done. Not a good use of the limited council taxpayer’s money.
“The Liberal Democrats would look at the surface treatment programme to avoid wasting money on repeat visits.
“The Conservatives should spend less time patting themselves on the back and acknowledge that improvements are needed.”