05:40PM, Thursday 01 July 2021
The junction had been controlled by temporary traffic lights
Controversial works on a major roundabout in Maidenhead which have been causing long delays for drivers are now complete, the council has announced.
Construction to upgrade the Oldfield Road/Bridge Road roundabout to a traffic light-controlled junction has been taking place for some months, with the works making the headlines often for the wrong reasons.
The Windsor and Maidenhead council is carrying out the project as part of work on six roundabouts across the town.
It added that the changes are in preparation for the regeneration of Maidenhead, and the predicted increase in new homes and jobs to follow.
Councillor Gerry Clark (Con, Bisham and Cookham), the council's cabinet member for transport, said: “I am delighted be able to confirm that road closures are lifted, and the junction is operating as planned.
“This has been a difficult project due to the position of the junction on a major route into Maidenhead, with no viable diversion, and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to make their feelings known.
"It has been frustrating to hear people’s dissatisfaction with traffic delays and have no alternative to offer.
"However, it does underline that this project is sorely needed to increase capacity at the junction to support programmed regeneration works and the jobs and commercial opportunities that will come from that regeneration.
“We have taken on board feedback from people who have been affected and will be looking at what can be done differently when we commence similar essential works on the Braywick Roundabout.”
Cllr Clark has been under fire by unhappy motorists since the Oldfield works started, and issued an apology for the delay to journeys back in May.
Many residents questioned the apology in the Advertiser's following Viewpoint column, while others complained about tailbacks and whether the changes to a traffic light system were needed at all.
Cllr Clark hit back in June, claiming that some of the complaints had been politically driven by certain members of the community.
The Oldfield Road works are part of a £6.33m road improvement scheme, funded with help from the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The council says that the project will deliver 'capacity improvements' at six key junctions in Maidenhead.
Oldfield Road is the fifth to be complete, with work yet to start on the A308 Braywick Roundabout.
There has been no official word as to when these works are expected to start, but a Maidenhead Town Forum meeting in February heard that this was expected to be around November time.
The six roundabouts in the scheme to improve capacity are:
Improvement works have also been taking place at the Maidenhead train station forecourt, also being completed in conjunction with the Thames Valley LEP.
When pressed by the Advertiser this week on when these works - which would see less parking and more pedestrian access at the station - would be completed, Cllr Clark said he could not give a definitive date, but added that construction was progressing well.
The UK has voted to leave the European Union in yesterday's referendum - and while the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead fell into the remain camp, Slough voted to support a Brexit.