New Wokingham Road design meet as big decision looms
An argument has arisen between activists and Wokingham City Council over a major new road to be approved south of WOKINGHAM.
The road, dubbed South Wokingham Distributor Road, involves building a road parallel to the railway line south of Wokingham, connecting a proposed new community south of the track near Waterloo Road to Finchampstead Road and the Tesco Superstore to the west.
Liberal Democrat activists in Wokingham have called for the road to be redesigned to make things safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Currently, pedestrians and cyclists are expected to share a three-meter-wide trail.
Peter Dennis, the newly elected Liberal Democrat councilor for the Wescott neighborhood, said: “Mixing pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles into the way the road is currently designed will not support the growth of walking. and cycling. It would be folly to build a major new road that actually slows down this growth and is less safe than we can for those who wish to walk and cycle.
There are doubts about the success of the campaign, as the road project is due to be approved by the council planning committee tomorrow.
The South Wokingham Distribution Road is only one part of a larger project called South Wokingham Major Development, which will see the construction of a total of 2,500 new homes, schools, community facilities and a nature park.
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Liberal Democrat activist Rob Comber said: “The new road network expects pedestrians and cyclists to share the sidewalk or cyclists to share the road.
“These houses are ideally located on foot or by bike from the city center. With 2,500 houses planned in this area, in addition to the traffic, the problems of congestion and safety on the sidewalk will be a real obstacle for people who move on foot or by bicycle.
“The Council should build this road to encourage significant growth in walking and cycling. This will help ensure improved air quality and reduced carbon production while improving physical and mental health and even reducing obesity.
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A Liberal Democrat petition calling for an overhaul garnered 208 signatures. However, the council ruled out the prospect of an overhaul.
The council responded by stating that “the new road is now at an advanced stage in the design process and any changes would have a number of implications such as: an increase in land needed, a reduction in the floodplain area, an increase in the span of the Emmbrook bridge with subsequent loss of vegetation and habitat, increased time and costs and major implications of the master plan for development.
“The current design, which follows many other major developments in the borough, was designed in accordance with the directions available and adopted at the time. Independent road safety audits were also carried out on the current system design. new guidelines issued since then, the design has been reassessed, and the board believes the system design is in line with the closet building guidelines for Wokingham.
“It should be noted, however, that pedestrian and cyclist guidance is not new to Wokingham, and the existing Wokingham Borough Council guidance is robust and has seen significant infrastructure provided throughout the delivery on the current local plan.
Plans for a new road, a total of 1,649 homes, a school, community facilities and a natural park are all expected to be approved by the council planning committee tomorrow (Tuesday, May 18).
The planning committee is made up of five Tories, three Liberal Democrats, a Labor adviser and an independent adviser. The Liberal Democrats hope to force the council to overhaul if the plan is not passed at the meeting.
You can view the road plans by entering reference 192928 into the Wokingham Planning Portal: https://planning.wokingham.gov.uk/FastWebPL/welcome.asp.