Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Villagers want road safety measures and less traffic

RESIDENTS of Remenham are demanding action to improve road safety and prevent gridlock in the village.

They raised their concerns at a meeting with Sara Allman, a member of the traffic management team at Wokingham Borough Council.

One of roads with the worst records is the A4130 White Hill, where there have been 25 accidents, nine of them serious, since September 2012.

Eleven of these have happened outside or within half a mile of Middle Culham, according to data obtained from Thames Valley Police and eyewitnesses.

On the A321 Wargrave Road there have been three accidents, one serious, and on Aston Lane and Remenham Lane there have been four accidents, one serious.

Remenham Parish Council has suggested extending the 30mph speed limit on the A4130 to Middle Culham Cottages and lowering the speed limit on the A321 from the A4130 to Conway’s Bridge to 30mph.

Councillor Franky Cookson told the meeting: “The traffic on the A4130 travels at roughly 70mph. If you work outside your house you’re swept into the road by the backdraft.

“We need something done because it’s very, very dangerous.”

She said that drivers turning out on to the A4130 towards Henley were often confronted by two cars side-by-side as one attempted to overtake the other.

Mrs Allman said the council might be able to paint double white lines on the road to prevent overtaking and slow down traffic.

The parish council has also proposed a number of safety measures for Remenham Lane, Remenham Church Lane and Aston Lane, including:

• Introducing a 20mph speed limit with signage — flashing speed/slow down indicators.

• Installing traffic-calming measures — chicanes or white gates at both ends — and signage (no entry except for access signs).

•Restricting the weight/
width/length of heavy goods vehicles and lorries to avoid impasses, blockages and consequent chaos.

• Ensuring that the number of days a year that a one-way system is put in place to manage traffic during events is not exceeded.

• Revising traffic orders during Henley Royal Regatta, Rewind and Henley Festival.

• Erecting signage at the Little Angel and the junction of the A4130 with Church Lane and Aston Lane.

One resident said: “This is a health and safety issue caused by major jams which can block the road for an hour. During that time any emergency vehicles won’t be able to get to their houses.

“It’s multiple articulated lorries which shouldn’t be on these lanes and cause blockages.”

He said one resident, Nigel Gray, was forced to abandon a trip to take his wife to hospital because the road was gridlocked.

Mrs Allman responded: “If there was a serious health and safety issue here with regards to emergency services, they would have come directly to us as a council and said ‘this is dangerous, something needs to be done’. But if it’s general traffic, you get that absolutely everywhere.”

Another man said the problem was caused by the single track lane but the borough council would not acknowledge this.

Mrs Allman said the only way to achieve a 20mph limit on Remenham Lane would be to have traffic-calming measures but this was impossible as there was no street lighting.

She suggested installing a sign saying “Welcome to Remenham village” and others reading “Unsuitable for HGVs”.

She said a weight limit had to be enforceable by the police, which would mean officers being in the village almost constantly, which was not possible.

The parish and borough councils are also considering moving the parking bays in Remenham Lane to ease congestion.

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