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Hungerford: councillors' anger over traffic lights

THREE-way traffic lights at a Hungerford housing development are causing chaos – with no immediate end in sight.

The matter was raised by furious members of Hungerford Town Council at a public meeting in the Corn Exchange on Monday night.

John Downe, a member of the town council’s highways and transport committee, said: “It’s a disgrace, the way it has been left like that with no explanation.”

Town mayor Helen Simpson told the meeting that residents were emailing her “non-stop” about the chaos.

While acknowledging that the district council, not the town council, is responsible for the matter, she said: “I think currently we’re looking a bit of a laughing stock.

“I think we deserve answers for people. “

The lights have been installed at the entrance to the controversial 100-home Lancaster Park estate development, which is now partially occupied.

Mr Downe said after the meeting: “It’s a busy road at all times and it must be months now and the junction is clearly not finished. It causes huge delays.

“Also, it prompts people to take ‘rat runs’ via inappropriate roads to avoid it, which causes additional problems for residents.”

Mr Downe said he believed there had been a mistake in the entire process which had been left unresolved.

He added: “It seems like there’s a discrepancy between the plans on paper and what has actually appeared in the road.

“We’ve been asking West Berkshire Council to explain what’s going on for ages. People deserve answers, but it’s just been left to cause complete chaos.”

Some believe there may have been a mix-up between two sets of plans which were produced during the development’s long and chequered history.

Permission was originally granted for the project, in the face of fierce local opposition, subject to the condition that it would include 40 ‘affordable’ homes comprising 28 rented homes and 12 offered as shared ownership.

Developers then claimed the condition rendered the project financially ‘unviable’ and sought its removal.

This was rejected by West Berkshire Council planners.

At Monday’s meeting, district councillor Dennis Benneyworth (Con, Hungerford and Kintbury) said work should re-commence this month and added: “It should take up to seven weeks to complete.”

Mayor Simpson asked Mr Benneyworth and district council colleague James Cole (Con, Hungerford and Kintbury) to establish exactly what had gone wrong and to report back.

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