The Wokingham Paper

What plans does Wokingham Borough Council have to tackle traffic congestion in Lower Earley/Winnersh?

The roundabout at Winnersh Picture: Phil Creighton

GROWING problems with traffic were raised by resident Michael Smith at the Wokingham Borough Council Executive meeting, held at the Shute End offices on Thursday, January 30. 

He wanted to know about the plans the council had to tackle the issues. 

“Traffic congestion in and around the eastern end of Lower Earley and Winnersh generally is getting worse, with hundreds of cars, buses and lorries stalled in long traffic queues on all main routes for many hours during extended morning and evening peak periods each weekday,” he said. 

“The improvements to the Showcase end of Lower Earley Way have had a small effect currently, but the increases in traffic from the Strategic Development Locations is quickly adding to the existing congestion as more homes are occupied. 

“Aside from the completion of the Winnersh Bypass Phase 2, what other plans does the Council have to alleviate these problems for vehicle movements specifically in this area?”

Council leader Cllr John Halsall stood in for Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, the exuective member for highways and transport, and acknowledged that there had been some improvements caused by the Lower Earley Way work, but “there are times of day when the area still experiences significant queues”. 

He added: “To manage this the Council, in its role as highway authority, has embarked on a series of actions to ensure that key routes and intersections operate as efficiently as they can. Not all of these actions will help Lower Earley Way but some will. 

“These actions include improvements to lines and signs at signal and roundabout junctions and the use of technology to make traffic signal control as reactive as possible to demands across throughout the day and the management of obstructions caused by parking and loading activities. 

“A programme of interventions at sensitive locations has been prepared and work is already underway to design and implement improvements, prioritised towards those locations where congestion is worse. 

“All this work is being combined within our emerging Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Strategy which will support the Council in tackling congestion and delay and for which significant capital funding is being invested over the next four years. 

“This strategy is setting a framework and justification for future investment focused upon improved congestion detection and sharing of information with the travelling public, improved control room facilities in order that quick decisions can be made around network management, the use of technology to manage our road network more efficiently, how we can improve the use of alternatives such as cycling.”

He added that the strategy was aimed at making traffic better, with signs that display information from a control centre.

“This will tackle congestion, which is really the biggest frustration of our residents”.

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