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Is Wokingham’s Station Approach road junction safe?

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CALLS are being made to improve safety at busy road junction following two accidents in two days – the latest in a series of incidents at the same spot.

On Saturday and Sunday evening, police were called out to two collisions at the junction of Reading Road with Station Approach in Wokingham town centre. The road as closed to clear up the debris and bus services were delayed.

Now there are calls for Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) to rethink the junction.
There have been a number of accidents since the revised road layout was introduced. They included the death of Diane Trindler in May 2016 who was injured when a motorist collided with her vehicle.

The incidents all appear to feature drivers attempting to turn right into Station Approach.
Some people on social media want WBC to rethink the way in which the junction works, and rephase the traffic lights.

Some people on social media want WBC to rethink the way in which the junction works, and rephase the traffic lights.

One said: “Another bad crash. It looked like another case of a car turning right into the new station road thinking it had right of way over a car coming from town. This junction needs a serious rethink.”

Another said: “When I have been at this junction and the lights turn green to turn right into new station road, I have wrongly assumed that I am being filtered right and the oncoming traffic is at red.”

And a third person noted: “I think that something needs to be done. I have personally seen 5 pairs of cars that have collided. Some very badly. Plus I have also seen the results of the results of collisions at other times.”

Emmbrook councillor Imogen Shepherd-Dubey has asked the council to look again at the junction and consider making changes to prevent innocent people getting hurt.

She said: “The top of Station Approach has become a hazardous intersection and I know at least one person has died as a result of an accident at this junction.

“The problem appears to be that when heading from the Winnersh direction, there is a solid green light to turn into Station Approach. It is not a filter light and people are assuming that they then have the right of way, when they still need to give way to the oncoming traffic. The argument has been that drivers are not following the Highway Code. I don’t really care on that point, because rightly or wrongly, this junction is causing accidents and innocent people are getting hurt.

“We have asked for a sign or something to remind people that they need to give way. I understand that recently there have been new markings painted on the road, but clearly this is not enough.”

But Wokingham Borough Council have defended the junction, saying that its layout has been replicated elsewhere across the UK.

Cllr Chris Bowring, executive member for highways and transport, said: “This junction layout is not unusual and is widely used across the country – Reading Road with Woodward Close is similar, for example.

“The Highway Code clearly states you can turn right if the green round light shows, but this doesn’t give you right of way so you must take care with oncoming traffic and only go if the way is clear.

“Only when the green arrow shows do you have right of way. This junction also has enhanced give way markings to help motorists.”

What do you think? have your say in the comments below or email letters@wokinghampaper.co.uk

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