Frustration as Caversham Bridge roadworks which caused traffic chaos to reappear
Residents of Caversham and Reading have grown frustrated with traffic control measures which have reappeared near Caversham Bridge. Temporary traffic lights had been installed on Church Street for much of March and April.
CityFibre has confirmed it has installed the new traffic measures near Church Street and says they will be in place until May 10. The company had completed essential work on and near the bridge to improve the area’s broadband network.
A few weeks ago, the company said it was moving away from the area and should have completed work by April 15. Reading Borough Council‘s current roadworks map shows the new traffic control measures have been put in place at the junction with Swansea Road. April 19.
READ MORE: Caversham Bridge traffic nightmare is ‘inevitable’ as the company behind the works gives an update on when it will be finished
In March CityFibre installed temporary three-way lights at the junction of Church Street with the A4074 which caused havoc for motorists on the Caversham Bridge. While these roadworks were in place there was a lot of congestion in the area, with some people admitting they had instead started shopping in Henley due to the ‘nightmare’ of trying to get to Reading from Caversham .
Many people complained and John Turner said it took him an hour to get from the jail to Vastern Road on a Saturday – a journey that usually takes five minutes. In a response, the council said congestion was “unavoidable” due to the location of the roadworks.
CityFibre said traffic measures affecting the Caversham Bridge were complete, but said some of the other work is expected to take between four and six weeks. Stacey King, area manager for Reading at CityFibre, said: “We can confirm that the traffic management measures affecting road users on Caversham Bridge have come to an end.
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“However, some sidewalk work remains in place. Construction is progressing at a steady pace and street work in Church Street has now begun, where temporary lights will be in place until May 10.
“Our teams will then head to St Peter’s Hill and Woodcote Road. This work is expected to take up to four to six weeks and there will be disruptions at local bus stops.
We are working closely with our construction partner, the local authorities and the council’s motorways team to ensure that the work is carried out efficiently and effectively and affected residents will be notified with further details very soon.
“We are currently investing up to £58m in delivering a full fiber network that will sustain Reading’s digital capabilities for decades to come. This is a major undertaking, and we are extremely grateful to the residents for their patience and continued support.
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Conservative councilor Isobel Ballsdon said it was “disappointing that the council has not communicated” the fact that these new works are from City Fibre. Cllr Ballsdon explained: “When a road authority gives road licenses they can require the company to handle communications and I really think the council should have insisted in the contract with CityFibre that CityFibre had a strong communication plan It’s just not good When people are given information they can make informed decisions, but if they are left in the dark they have no opportunity to do so.
Reading Borough Council said: “Reading Borough Council has not granted CityFibre an extended license to install temporary lights. CityFibre is a statutory undertaker with statutory powers to install, maintain and remove their devices on, above or under public roads. The dates mentioned concern the next phase of work which has just begun, which will require temporary traffic lights for everyone’s safety. “