03:41PM, Wednesday 10 February 2021
Long queues of traffic sat on the A4 this week after the council began work on the Ray Mead Road roundabout.
Congestion was rife – despite the national lockdown – near Maidenhead Bridge and Bath Road as the Royal Borough upgrades the roundabout opposite the Thames Riviera hotel.
Work here will run daily between 9am and 3.30pm until Friday, February 19, and forms part of a £6million project between the council and Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
Vehicles are being controlled by traffic lights with temporary lane closures in operation.
The pedestrian island will be reduced in size and capacity increased for traffic approaching the roundabout, so two vehicles can approach it side-by-side.
The council’s aim is to reduce congestion in the future ahead of a predicted increase in population levels.
Traffic queuing on the Bath Road towards Maidenhead
Four other roundabouts in the scheme will be phased later this year, while work to increase capacity at the Braywick Road/Stafferton Way roundabout has finished, aside from some resurfacing.
Speaking to the Advertiser this week, Councillor Gerry Clark (Con, Bisham and Cookham), the council’s lead member for transport, said that crews working on the Ray Mead Road junction know that this is ‘one of the main arteries’ into Maidenhead and will work as quickly as possible.
“Works are necessary and very positive, and any temporary disruption is going to be minimised,” he said.
“Everything we do is trying to improve traffic flow. I think it [Ray Mead Road] is quite a light touch, and the workers there are aware of the importance of that road into Maidenhead. That is a main artery into town.”
Cllr Clark also reaffirmed that the roadworks would be ‘sequential’, so that they do not clash with other projects in the scheme.
A Maidenhead Town Forum meeting heard last week from Tim Golabek, the council’s service lead for transport and infrastructure, who said the ‘last thing’ he wants to do is create gridlock, adding the works would be ‘phased as much as possible’.
Cllr Clark added: “Due to the lockdown, it is in fact an excellent time to be doing these works because the impacts are going to be less than they would [normally] be.”
A council spokesperson said: “The work to Ray Mead Road roundabout is being undertaken during off-peak hours, from 9am until 3.30pm, and three-way traffic lights are in place.
“Traffic management measures during future work on four further roundabouts will be different as this will depend on the work being undertaken and the location.”
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