No dates for road shake-up in Bracknell town centre
Published: 31 Jul 2013 09:301 comment
MAJOR changes to Bracknell town centre roads will cause "confusion but not congestion" says the council.
The new road plans - which form part of the long-awaited regeneration project - are set to gradually come into force over the coming months but Bracknell Forest Council still has no fixed dates or times.
Alana Razzell, spokeswoman for the council, told the Midweek: "The closures and changes won't all happen together. It will be a rolling programme."
She said there was no confirmed timetable for the changes as work could not get under way until Broadway and Crossway was fully sectioned off with hoarding.
Although advance notices say August 4, it is hoped the roadworks will start in September. But Ms Razzell insisted that the timings are not just "pie in the sky" and added: "It's more led by other things and we can't give a specific date until that happens.
"We will produce a map of closure points when we know - which hopefully will be very soon."
The biggest changes that motorists are likely to see will be the closure of The Ring from the junction with Bond Way near Waitrose, down to the Easthampstead House car park, as well as the reversal of the one-way part of High Street, between The Ring and Market Street. Changes to both these roads will be permanent and the section of The Ring between Bond Way and Easthampstead House car park will become pedestrianised.
Bond Way will become a cul-de-sac - used primarily for Waitrose shoppers or motorists exiting Skimped Hill facilities - while bus stops along this part of The Ring will no longer be accessible.
A temporary bus stop will be created to the east of Easthampstead House however, where the taxi rank and disabled parking bays are at present.
"There won't be the same issues as at the Twin Bridges. They're closing lanes there, whereas here, it will be that people will be using the town centre in a different way," added Ms Razzell.
"There will be confusion rather than congestion."
However, the council says there will be diversion routes and any change in the direction of traffic flow will be signposted in advance to help drivers.
Bev Hindle, chief officer for planning and transport at the council, added it was working hard to minimise disruption to motorists and had been placing road closure/change notices around the town.
Mr Hindle said: "There will be alternative routes in place for vehicles and pedestrians. New bus routes will come into use once The Ring is closed to traffic.
"Some on-street parking bays will need to be removed but there will still be plentiful parking elsewhere, including in town centre car parks.
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to assure residents, commuters and bus-inesses that these changes are needed to provide Bracknell with the town centre it deserves."