NewsRoad changes planned to ease Newbury congestion

Thu 11 May 2017

West Berkshire Council is proposing improvements to a busy road junction in central Newbury to ease congestion during peak times.

During the morning and evening rush hours the A339/Bear Lane junction next to Sainsbury's is near its capacity. Different options to improve the flow of traffic at the junction have been considered by the council. After considering the options the council is proposing to make the following changes to the road layout:

  • Make Bear Lane one-way eastbound between Wharf Road and the A339;
  • Create a new signal controlled junction from the A339 into Cheap Street to allow traffic travelling from the north and east to access the town centre;
  • Remove the central reserve on the A339 between Bear Lane junction and the new Cheap Street junction to provide a right turn lane;
  • Restrict parking on Cheap Street South to accommodate the additional traffic flow;
  • Introduce a new pedestrian crossing on Cheap Street;
  • Introduce a new mini roundabout at the Market St/ Cheap St junction.

A public consultation on these proposals is running now and will run until Sunday 4 June. Anyone wanting to read more and have their say on the proposals should visit email or call 01635 519080.

West Berkshire Council will be hosting two drop-in sessions for anyone who wants to find out more or ask questions about the proposals. The sessions will be held between midday and 7pm on Tuesday 23 May and Wednesday 24 May at the Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury.

A number of options have been considered and discounted as part of the assessment for the preferred scheme. These options included removal of the roundabout and construction of a conventional traffic signal controlled crossroads and the construction of a flyover over the junction for the A339.

To ensure the scheme will meet future demand, high-tech simulation software has been used to assess traffic flow using the levels predicted in 2021 and which allows for all committed major developments in Newbury. You can watch a video of our traffic modelling with and without the new junction.

Speaking about the proposal Mark Edwards, Head of Transport and Countryside said: "This is an important junction on Newbury's road network but it is one that has been getting busier in recent years. It's important that we take action now to keep the traffic moving and improve journeys for all who live, work and learn in the town.

"Several options were considered and after careful consideration we feel this is the best one for Newbury. We're holding a public consultation on the proposals and local people are able to have their say and tell us what they think."

The redesign of the junction and surrounding roads is the latest stage of a comprehensive plan to improve the A339 through Newbury. Earlier this year a 14-month project to install a new junction with Fleming Road and widen the lanes was completed and resurfacing of other stretches will begin later this year.

The consultation runs until Sunday 4 June and a decision is expected to be made later this year. If the project is approved it is expected that construction will begin in early 2018 and take around 6 months to complete.