A £1.5million overhaul of the Sainsbury’s roundabout in Newbury has been approved by West Berkshire councillors.
The scheme aims to improve traffic flow along the A339 by reducing congestion on the busy junction between the A339, Bear Lane, Kings Road and Mill Lane.
Speaking about the plans at a meeting of the council’s executive committee last night, member for highways, Jeanette Clifford, said: “When it’s delivered, it will be another strong link in the A339 chain, and another way to keep traffic moving in Newbury and West Berkshire.”
The scheme means A339 southbound traffic will no longer be able to turn right on the roundabout into Bear Lane, which will become one-way between the A339 and Wharf Road.
While a new signal controlled junction will be created from the A339 into Cheap Street to allow traffic travelling from the north and east to access the town centre.
Initially the plans would have also seen parking removed from Cheap Street south to accommodate the extra traffic from the new junction, however, following a public consultation, on-street parking will be retained and Cheap Street south will become one-way (northbound) with the Cheap Street/Market Street junction controlled by traffic lights.
A new pedestrian crossing will be installed along with the new traffic signals, while the existing pedestrian crossings on Cheap Street (north) and Market Street will be removed.
Fears have been raised that the new A339 junction will cause congestion further south at the Burger King roundabout as northbound traffic is forced to wait to allow cars turning right onto Cheap Street.
However council highways officers have said the timing of the traffic signals at the new A339 junction will be linked to those at the Sainsbury's roundabout in an effort to prevent the build-up of long northbound queues.
For a full report of the meeting and further reaction to the plans pick up a copy of next week’s Newbury Weekly News.