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Work on Newbury's roads to cope with 1,500 Racecourse homes due to start next year

Council expecting £1m payment for A339, Hambridge Road and Bear Lane


WORK to improve Newbury’s fragile road network in order to cope with thousands of extra vehicles from the 1,500-home development at Newbury Racecourse is set to start next year.

However, West Berkshire Council has said that it cannot go into details until the future of thousands of homes in Newbury is decided.

A deal for more than £2m of traffic improvements in the town centre was agreed to when plans for the homes were approved in 2010.

The agreement, between the council and developer David Wilson Homes, could see up to £1m spent on improvements to the A339, Hambridge Road and the Bear Lane Roundabout.

The money is due once the 527th property at the racecourse is occupied. 

With the racecourse announcing that 396 of the 400 completed homes have been occupied, the money for vital improvements is expected to be paid as early as next year.

West Berkshire Council said that an improvement scheme for the town’s struggling road system, funded by the developer, is expected to begin in 2017/18.

The council can also expect a windfall of at least £380,000 to improve the A4, the Robin Hood Roundabout and the Faraday Road area once the 618th property is occupied.

Again the money and subsequent roadworks are expected next year.

Although the council said that design work was under way it could not provide details as a number of options were being considered. 

Thousands of extra vehicles could be pouring on to Newbury’s roads if plans for 2,000 homes at Sandleford, 232 homes from the Market Street redevelopment, and a planning appeal for 401 homes near Vodafone HQ in Donnington are given the green light.

Council spokeswoman Peta Stoddart-Crompton said: “We won’t be able to decide between the options until we know what other developments are going to go ahead and when. There will be publicity and consultation in due course.”

The council would only say that the works would be planned to keep disruption to a minimum.

A £40,000 sustainable school travel pot is also available but only £10,000 has been paid so far. This was granted to The Willows Primary School to purchase a minibus in order to transport children to and from school.

The council is currently expanding the A339, which resulted in gridlock earlier this month, and building a new junction to connect the main road with Fleming Road. This work is being funded by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

When asked whether the roadworks and funding could be stalled should the sale of homes at the racecourse take a slump, Mrs Stoddart-Crompton said: “We don’t envisage an issue with the Racecourse selling houses.

“If the option of the Racecourse appointing a contractor and building the improvements had been taken up, this may have applied.”

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Article comments

  • Blizzard

    01/11/2016 - 23:11

    Residents don't have access to Hambridge Road so the only reason to do anything will be to benefit race course customers. WBC need to grow a pair and stop the tail wagging the dog. Developers don't dictate or rather they should not dictate to what's going to happen with our road. You decide what needs to happen. Bill them for it. Put in the infrastructure first then homes second.


  • Oldmoaner

    01/11/2016 - 21:09

    West Berkshire Council have a Roads and Transport Department, planning department, Myopic Vision Department all costing millions and they are all led by developers with no-one in authority at Market Street strong enough to say now lets get together and decide whats best for the town and its existing residents. The race course wins again dictating to the town how it is to be best laid out to increase the racecourse profits. They do not care how much mayhem they cause as long as their alright. Please let us have a proper all embracing traffic and road plan, enough money has been paid to consultants studying traffic flows and pollution so put these to some use. If the council do not come up with a real plan this traffic polluted nightmare will never end.


  • Basher

    01/11/2016 - 20:08

    How can the minimise disruption from existing chaotic disruption?


  • kensom

    01/11/2016 - 16:04

    If, maybe, sometime improvements, depending on, - are there any proper planners at this miserable excuse for a council? It's the who, what, where. when and how questions that need answering right now! There are very few benefits to be seen out there, right now. Just how does it help traffic flow to put more 'escape routes' on the same log-jammed roads that we have right nowW


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