Works to upgrade Oldfield Road roundabout in Maidenhead to a traffic light-controlled junction are causing tailbacks and disruption, and for this the Royal Borough is issuing an apology.
The works are part of a larger programme to make improvements to six roundabouts and will improve the provision of safe pedestrian and cycle crossings.
Critically, the work will also support the regeneration of areas of Maidenhead, which will bring new homes, commercial opportunities and jobs to the town. However, as the major route through Maidenhead, Oldfield Road in particular is causing problems.
Councillor Gerry Clark, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “On behalf of the Royal Borough, I want to apologise for the temporary disruption people are experiencing due to the Oldfield Road junction works and thank everyone for bearing with us while we carry out these improvements.
“The work at the junction will ensure our infrastructure is ready to support the development in the town that will bring new homes and new jobs. When complete, the changes will help alleviate queuing with a more balanced traffic flow through the junction and, importantly, create safe pedestrian and cycle crossings – something the roundabout did not have.
“As a key access to the town, there is no easy way to work on this junction without causing disruption – which is one reason why the decision was made to do works now and not in years to come when regenerations are complete.
“Officers at the council looked at all alternatives. The work is too extensive to be completed during overnight shut down of the junction, while the layout of the area means there simply isn’t a suitable alternative route to introduce a diversion.
“While the disruption is not ideal, and I understand the frustrations it provokes, these works are essential to futureproof this road ready for redevelopment and regeneration in town.”
Alternatives to semi-closure and traffic management of the junction were explored before finalising proposals. The works were not suitable for a night-time or other full closure, and there is no viable diversion route, leaving temporary traffic lights the only option to ensure the safety of workers.
Councillor Clark added: "It is important to remember that the current traffic light configuration is temporary to ensure the safety of those working on the project. It is not how the new junction will operate when complete. Traffic will flow more smoothly through the new junction than during the roadworks.
“The project is on schedule to be completed in early July, so in the meantime, if you can, please avoid the area during peak times, and allow extra time for travel.”