Tuesday 22 March 2022

Avoid Caversham Bridge until 15 April

CityFibre's works to install full fibre network across Caversham Bridge and into nearby roads Caversham side started a week ago. The works, which entail digging up and laying fibre caballing, are due to be finished by 15 April. If travelling during the daytime, especially in the rush hour, you are best off avoiding the junction altogether.

Lane closed northbound, Caversham Bridge
North of Caversham Bridge, 3-way temporary lights have been installed at the Church Street junction with the A4074/Church Road, with the northbound lanes on the bridge reduced down to one. Any northbound driver wanting to turn left past The Griffin PH towards St Peter's Hill has to wait in the queue as the filter left is closed. Added to this, because the lights are 3-way rather than the usual 2-way, the junction's capacity has been reduced dramatically, causing long tailbacks.

I've pressed Reading Borough Council's Highways to ensure everything possible that can be done is being done to minimise disruption to residents and businesses. The two most experienced 'gangs' are working on this area; they are opening up and closing up the trenches as swiftly as possible; they've got more supervisors concentrated here than elsewhere and the grab machine is onsite - to be as time efficient as possible. In addition, during peak hours they are manning the lights. 

Church Road approaching the junction
I've asked whether it might be possible to change to 2-way lights - so that vehicles can travel south from Church Street at the same time as northbound vehicles come over Caversham Bridge. Officers are looking into this but have highlighted the challenges of the bend near the former Lloyds Bank where sight lines are bad. As everyone will appreciate, pedestrian and cyclist safety is extremely important.

For those who have to go through the centre of Caversham, remember everyone's journey will be improved if the junctions are kept clear. Don't be like the arrogant, impatient driver who rather than wait his turn, overtook the westbound traffic on the wrong side of the road, only to meet an east-bound car head on that forced him to reverse back along the Gosbrook Road, delaying others, and himself.

Separately I've asked Thames Valley Police whenever possible if they are able to enforce the Church Street/Bridge Street box junction and also the keep clear at the roundabout south of Caversham Bridge during peak hours.

The benefits to residents and businesses of getting digitally connected through CityFibre's works will far outweigh the inconvenience of the next few weeks. 

UPDATE: On behalf of 2 residents who have commented on my post I've asked officers whether the council can get the contractor to work weekends. I've also asked whether by preventing traffic from turning right into Church Road this would enable north and south bound traffic to travel through the junction at the same time.