Councillor pledges action on air pollution at Twyford Crossroads

ALTERNATIVE road layouts and changes to parking in Twyford could be on the cards after a council member has called for a review of the village.

Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, the executive member for highways and transport, has called on Wokingham Borough Council officers to launch a probe into how transport links can be improved, boosting air quality as a result.

She said that since the council had committed the borough to achieving carbon neutral status by 2030, her party had been working to identify the biggest causes of carbon emissions: Tywford’s crossroads were one of the first areas to be chosen for immediate action.

“Stationary traffic is one of the biggest causes for carbon emissions and other harmful gases in our borough,” Cllr Jorgensen said.

“We are taking action to combat congestion across the borough, but it is essential we take action in Twyford now, to improve the lives, and health of all residents. There are no easy solutions to congestion in historic towns, which is why we ask all residents to support our initiatives now as we work towards a longer term solution.

“I have challenged the highways team to assess alternative road layouts to reduce congestion and also look at improving the parking access and exits at Twyford station.”

Twyford crossroads
One of the new signs erected to encourage drivers to switch off their engines while waiting at traffic lights in Twyford

One the actions that will be carried out will be the installation of signs asking drivings to switch off engines as they wait at the crossroads’ traffic lights. The Conservatives said that this will prevent harmful gases being released into the atmosphere, as well as saving fuel and money.

And the party said it also wants to install a Green Wall in Twyford, using plants and trees to draw out carbon dioxide.

A spokesperson for the party said: “All those years when we were told to take ivy down from walls has actually hurt our environment as ivy is one of the biggest absorbers of greenhouse gases.

“Residents will soon be able to see their urban greening wall come to life and know it is helping improve their quality of life.”

But the Liberal Democrats, who have two councillors covering the village, feel that the Conservatives are playing catch-up to their ideas.

Newly-elected councillor Stephen Conway said that he had suggested a green wall as a contribution to reducing pollution at the crossroads after the idea was brought to his attention by local residents on social media, while Cllr Lindsay Ferris – who is also the party’s leader in Wokingham borough – said that action was already being taken.

“An air quality monitor was provided at Twyford Crossroads a number of months ago,” he explained. “This is a green box that was installed outside Parkers estate agency.

“We want to see more buses in the village, that will connect Twyford with Wokingham and Winnersh, helping with morning and evening rush hours. If they come to the area south of the station in Hurst Road, this should cut down on the number of vehicles wishing to park in Twyford. I have already raised this with Highways.

“We are in the process of setting up a meeting with council officers to develop car parking schemes to help Twyford residents from all-day commuter parking. This will include Broad Hinton and Wessex Gardens, among other roads.”

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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