It’s almost half term for schools across the district which can only mean one thing – more traffic mayhem is on the way for Newbury motorists.
Traffic lights are to be switched off and temporary give way signs and lights set up at three key junctions to allow the upgrade works and the fun now starts on Wednesday (21st) after being delayed from Monday.
West Berkshire Council only made the initial announcement late on Wednesday night after the Newbury Weekly News had already gone to print and the council subsequently pushed the date back on Friday afternoon, blaming "logistical reasons" for the change.
The fresh roadworks follows the closure of Boundary Road which has been closed since July and will not re-open until the end of October before shutting again in January for nine months.
The new scheme will install new signal controllers at each of the three locations – two on the Robin Hood roundabout and one on the A4 - which the council confirmed would be a “lengthy process” and would take several days to complete each one.
According to the council the new signal controllers once installed will help improve the flow of traffic through Newbury by allowing the highways team to alter the lights according to local traffic flows.
All three junctions will thereafter “be able to communicate with each other to synchronise their lights with each other” and also allow highways officers to manually control the lights in the event of collisions, roadworks or large local events.
The times and locations for the junction are as follows:
Wednesday October 21st - A4 Western Avenue and A339 junction (by the A339 flyover)
Monday October 26th - Robin Hood roundabout - junction of the A4, A339, London Road, B4009 Shaw Road
Friday November 6th - the A4,Faraday Road and Newport Road junction
West Berkshire Council’s executive member for highways Garth Simpson said of the works: “Upgrading each junction is a lengthy, technical piece of work which requires replacing a cabinet on the side of the road, reconnecting several hundred wires and testing the new systems.
“It will take several days to complete the work and unfortunately it can’t be done without turning the lights off.
“We’re keen to complete this work before Boundary Road closes again in January so that we’re in the best possible position to manage the traffic during the bridge replacement.
“We’ve timed the works so that the busiest junction, Robin Hood, is completed over half-term when the roads are quieter than usual.
“We don’t need any lane closures or diversions and will manage the junctions with temporary lights and give way signs.
“We’ve done all we can to minimise disruption to motorists but we’d ask for patience if journeys do take a few minutes longer.
“Once we’ve completed the upgrade we’ll have a more reliable, flexible traffic control system which will improve how we can manage traffic in Newbury and hopefully improve journeys in the town.”
How will this affect your journeys through town? Get in touch and let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org