Wokingham Borough Council has agreed Balfour Beatty can plan and build major highways projects including the Arborfield Cross Relief Road, South Wokingham Distributor Road and North Wokingham Distributor Road.
The new four-year programme, which will also include Barkham Bridge, Lower Earley Way improvements and Winnersh Relief Road Phase 2, will bring long-planned improvements to the borough’s road network.
The new roads and other highway improvements will help relieve congestion as well as provide access to the major developments being built at Arborfield Green and to the north and south of Wokingham. These projects are due to be completed by 2022.
“The new roads are coming and they will bring massive improvements to our road network,” said Cllr David Lee, executive member for strategic highways and planning. “We know people have been concerned that new housing would come without the necessary infrastructure but that’s not going to happen and, with this agreement, we now have the deal in place to get the roads built. This is a huge step forward.”
The single planned programme will allow Balfour Beatty to plan and build the roads, and other projects, to speed up delivery and improve efficiency.
Jonathan Winter, managing director for Balfour Beatty’s regional business in the south, said: “This is a great achievement for Balfour Beatty and adds to our wealth of experience in delivering significant highways schemes across the UK. Having worked in collaboration with Wokingham Borough Council since 2015, we look forward to continuing our close relationship to provide the community and travelling public with a new, improved road network.”
The new roads are at different stages of development. Sections of the North Wokingham Distributor Road and South Wokingham Distributor are already built by housing developers, while Arborfield Cross Relief Road now has planning consent. The Barkham Bridge improvements are at an earlier stage.
Wokingham Borough Council has currently committed £11million to the Balfour Beatty agreement for the early phases. This could increase to more than £124million as the programme develops and the roads are constructed, although this would be subject to further agreements and oversight by elected councillors.
Wokingham Borough Council is developing web pages to give up-to-date information on all the road projects. Visit these road project pages by going to the council's website and searching for ‘major new roads’.