Work in Wokingham town centre is continuing at pace and over the next few weeks residents will see significant changes in the town centre as the Market Place works complete and Denmark Street re-opens.
Denmark Street is scheduled to reopen in Wokingham town centre following the completion of the Market Place improvement scheme during the weekend of August 18/19.
And, Wokingham Borough Council has today (July 27) announced that the section of Denmark Street from Langborough Road to the Carnival roundabout will reopen tonight several weeks earlier than planned.
With the borough council’s Peach Place scheme on target to open for Christmas this year, work has started to resurface the footpath and install the new shop fronts along Peach Street. These units will be ready to hand over to the first of the new tenants from the end of September.
Work well underway
Cllr Philip Mirfin, executive member for regeneration at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Work is already well underway at the eastern end of the footpath near the Redan. We need to continue this through to join up with where Market Place works finish and the Peach Place site starts.
“This does mean however, that once Denmark Street is open on August 18/19, we will need to reclose the section of Broad Street between Costa and Rose Street to through traffic. This closure is necessary to carry out works, such as service diversions, in the roadway adjacent to the footpath and ensures a safe zone for the construction workers.
“Recognising the issues that have been found below the ground during the Market Place works, our contractor has applied for a four week closure. In the meantime, we’re looking at options now to see if there are alternative ways to carry out this vital work to allow us to minimise disruption. However I’d like to offer reassurance they will be working hard to complete the works and reopen the road to through traffic as soon as possible.
“This will be disappointing to many, especially following the opening of Denmark Street, but there is simply no way to carry out this work without closing this section of road. We believe it’s important to complete this as quickly as possible so we can fully open up the northern footpath and get traffic moving in the town centre. There will never be a good time to carry out work on major roads but we also believe it is preferable to complete them during the summer holidays when traffic levels are reduced.”
The closure will be put in place overnight on Sunday August 19 and works will be completed in time for Heritage Day on Saturday September 15. Broad Street will remain open between its junctions with Shute End/ Wiltshire Road and Rose Street, which remains open.
Cllr Mirfin continued: “Given feedback from residents and businesses from the previous closure of Broad Street and the fact this is for a much shorter duration, we have agreed to keep Langborough Road open to two way traffic during this work, although this will be kept under review.
“Whilst we do recognise these works are causing disruption in the town centre, we hope residents will visit the town and support local businesses during the rest of the summer. We also hope they will be pleased in the coming months as the new spaces start to open up around the town centre and they hear about some of the fantastic businesses who will be coming to Wokingham.
“We would also encourage town centre businesses to continue to access the support which has been put in place working with the Town Centre Business Association to help them during this period, such as the additional marketing resources and the free expert advice in how to access business rates relief.
“Wokingham is a fantastic town and has a really bright future ahead. The council is investing millions of pounds in the town centre to help deliver improved facilities and attract the kind of businesses which will help us stand out from our larger neighbours like Reading and Bracknell.”