Work is progressing well on the £3.8million Market Place improvement scheme with excavation and utility work along Denmark Street drawing to completion. The road will re-open on Monday 25 September.
The project is part of the long-term vision for the future of Wokingham town centre that was set out in the 2010 Town Centre Masterplan, adopted after extensive consultation. The aim is to co-ordinate the vision for the town reinforcing its quality whilst encouraging its viability for the future. New facilities are in construction at Peach Place, work at Elms Field is programmed and plans are in hand to tackle Carnival Pool.
Work started at the end of July, with a number of utility companies working at the same time, to install new ducts, replace steel gas mains and supplies into the buildings as well as adding in protection measures for electricity along Denmark Street.
Next phase moves to Broad Street
The next phase moves to the top of Broad Street and, the Market Place outside Boots and Clarks and down towards the main market area on Monday 25 September. Utility work will continue in this area for the coming weeks. Once complete, it will be immediately followed by the laying of the new York Stone surfacing. This work will continue until early December.
Only the very top section of Broad Street, as described above, will be closed, with all traffic routed down Denmark Street. The remainder of Broad Street will remain open including the left turn junction onto Rose Street, although this will be controlled by traffic lights.
The Bracknell-bound bus services will still stop in Broad Street and continue their route via Rose Street as normal. A temporary stop will be in place in Denmark Street for Reading-bound services.
Help drivers around the town more easily
To help drivers navigate around the town more easily, Langborough Road, from Denmark Street through to its junction with Gipsy Lane will be closed to eastbound traffic: this short section of Langborough Road will become one-way. This is to ensure that traffic will be able to safely move through Denmark Street. It will also help minimise delays on the major A329 route.
Drivers will still be able to access Denmark Street car park from the Carnival Pool roundabout but will not be able to turn right into Langborough Road.
Advanced warning signs are in place letting people know about the current and forthcoming road closures and diversions routes will be in place throughout the works. All local residents within the Langborough Road vicinity, have also been told.
The borough council will actively monitor the roads during this second phase of work in Market Place and will work hard to minimise any disruption. It is also advising road users to check roadworks.org website before they travel to get the latest traffic information and to plan their journey in advance.
Town is open for business
Wokingham Borough Council’s executive member for highways and transport Cllr Chris Bowring said: “The town is very much open for business. Please do continue to support our retailers and visit the town centre. These essential changes to the environment of the town are aimed at a much-needed facelift in the spirit of the town masterplan. We understand it is very difficult at the moment, for all involved from traders to pedestrians and drivers to visitors, as we work on this major project in Wokingham town centre. It is disruptive and we are doing all we can to keep this to a minimum. We believe the outcome will be worth the wait.”
Wokingham Town Mayor Cllr Peter Lucey said: “A heartfelt thank you to everyone who continues to support our market traders, retailers and businesses. While the market place project and the wider regeneration work is causing present disruption, in the long-term our residents, businesses and visitors will benefit hugely from a town centre that is attractive and thriving, and offers a great experience and future for us all.”
Temporary home for Market
The market has moved to its temporary home near Argos/Brown Bag. The resident businesses have welcomed the traders with The Gig House offering practical support with storage and electricity supply; and landlords Axa and Aviva have allowed use of this area for the market.