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Approved A339 junction will see vast improvements at congested Robin Hood, say planners

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A new road passed by the district council this week will dramatically reduce the number of vehicles using the Robin Hood roundabout by during morning and evening rush hours.

Traffic modeling conducted on behalf of West Berkshire Council showed that an access road from the A339 directly into the London Road Industrial Estate could reduce traffic at the Robin Hood by 15 per cent in the morning rush hour, and 23 per cent in the evening.

The plans to create a traffic light-controlled junction approximately 230metres south of the Robin Hood was approved by a district council planning committee on Wednesday night.

It will see widening of the northbound carriageway to make way for a dedicated right-hand-turn lane into the estate's Fleming Road, and a signal controlled pedestrian and cycle crossing to link the estate with Victoria Park, and construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.

The road was proposed as part of wider plans to regenerate the industrial estate, however highways officer Michael Butler said that it could still be built even if planning permission for the regeneration scheme, detailed plans for which have not yet been submitted, were refused.

Jon Winstanley, who submitted the road plans on behalf of West Berkshire Council, said: "This is about providing infrastructure which will unlock an area for regeneration.

"One of the main aims is to protect long term employment opportunities by providing an environment that better supports employment.

"Installing a junction on an already congested road is never ideal, but we have designed this with enough capacity to have minimal impact on the flow and it actually gives some key improvements on the A339."

George Chandler (Con, Downlands), said: "I think we have got a plan here which is giving too many benefits to the industrial estate and giving people opportunities to be rat running.

"To me it seems perhaps a jump too far and the benefits are perhaps not quite as good as we think."

Ward member Roger Hunneman (Lib Dem, Victoria) said: "I'm very much split on this one.

"As far as I can see, the acoustic and air quality is not going to be affecting anyone, and there's the potential of reducing reducing traffic at the Robin Hood.

"Whatever the long term plan for the industrial estate, there's an advantage to everyone on the estate to have that junction now."

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