The Wokingham Paper

This is why the Winnersh Crossroads can’t be reopened just yet

SGN gas work
The Winnersh crossroads in August 2018 Picture: Tony Johnson

MOTORISTS fed up with roadworks on a busy Winnersh road will have to endure them for a while longer.

SGN is using the summer holidays to carry out essential upgrades across the borough.

Earlier this summer, work began at Winnersh crossroads, turning the road into a one way system rather than a crossroads.

Eagle-eyed motorists have contacted The Wokingham Paper to point out that the crossroads work appeared to be finished, asking if the barriers could be taken down and the junction returned to its normal state.

The Winnersh crossroads at 4.45pm on Friday, August 10 Picture: Tony Johnson

One said that the work looked finished when they went past on Wednesday afternoon – and that no workers were on site at the time.

But SGN, who are handling the Reading Road gas main replacement project said that work is not yet complete.

A spokesperson told The Wokingham Paper: “We’ve not yet finished this phase. We’re making good progress though and we’re still on track to remove the traffic lights at the junction at the end of this month as planned.”

Picture: Tony Johnson

At the same time as the Reading Road project, SGN  is working on Barkham Road. The company explained the need to upgrade the pipes across the borough in a statement on its website.

“We are investing to replace our old gas mains and services with new plastic pipe to ensure a continued safe and reliable gas supply to the local area,” the statement says.

“We’ll be working in Barkham Road between its junctions with Tavistock Mews and Molly Millars Lane for approximately eight weeks. We will need to install temporary traffic lights around our work area to ensure everyone’s safety.

“We understand that people can get frustrated by roadworks. However, the new plastic pipe has a minimum lifespan of 80 years. This means that when the work is complete, people will continue to enjoy the benefits of a safe and reliable gas supply for years to come.”

Winnersh Crossroads
The Reading Road by Winnersh Crossroads was closed to traffic for an hour on Thursday, July 26 following an accident Picture: Phil Creighton

And on the evening of Thursday, July 26, Reading Road was shut for around an hour in the direction of Reading to Wokingham as a result of a road traffic accident. Anyone wishing to get into Winnersh from Wokingham was unable to do so.

While on Saturday, July 28, due to high winds the barriers came down into the road.

Cllr Lindsay Ferris, leader of the Wokingham borough Liberal Democrats, said: “Winnersh crossroads was a nightmare on Tuesday, July 31. I wanted to get to the Arborfield area from Twyford and I could not get directly across the crossroads.”

Picture: Tony Johnson

People have also been taking up their gripes on social media.

One said: “Winnersh crossroads is a nightmare.”

Another noted: “Avoid Winnersh if you can.”

The council defended the amount of works taking place at the moment.

Cllr Anthony Pollock, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said: “We have scheduled a number of works in over the summer holidays to minimise disruption but emergencies do happen that we cannot plan for.  

“However, it is important to remember that planned works, such as these SGN works taking place on Winnersh Crossroads, are essential maintenance works that are carried out to prevent unplanned emergencies.

“SGN is replacing the old gas mains and services with new plastic pipe to ensure a continued safe and reliable gas supply to the local area.

“Keeping our residents safe is our number one priority and to do this we must keep the 967 miles of roads and footpaths within our borough maintained to a high standard.

“We appreciate that our maintenance works, together with essential utilities works, cause disruption to our resident’ journeys but they are essential to keep our residents’ safe.”

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