Ashridge Interchange  

The Ship Inn from London Road, with Peach Street to the left

Market Place and Broad Street from Cockpit PathShute End looking northwards, with The Terrace on the right

   "The Ashridge Interchange Movement ('AIM') is a non-party organisation that exists to promote the
   best possible traffic solution for Wokingham for the least overall environmental impact."

                Design

Aerial photo of Junction 10, courtesy of Multimap.com

 

 

 

We don't have any detailed plans for the original Ashridge Interchange; if you have any, we would be pleased to scan them. In any event, time has moved on, and the original design probably would be unacceptable. Certainly, the link road proposal was extremely unpopular, because it would have been to dual carriageway standard, 'like a dagger pointing at the heart of Wokingham'.

Junction 10, as viewed from the A321 road bridge. The new slip road would pass under an extended bridge to the rightModern standards for motorway junctions would rule out a separate junction on the A329(M), because it is too close to Junction 10. Indeed, the southbound slip road from the M4 joins the A329(M) within sight of the A321 Twyford Road bridge.

 

Is there a away out of this dilemma? Junction 10 itself points to a solution, as does the southbound M25 - M4 junction further to the east. The answer is to make tSign on southbound A329(M) showing M4 slip roads - an extra slip would branch off the 'South Wales' slip roadhe 'Wokingham North' slip road leave the A329(M) along with the slip road to the M4 westbound. See the existing motorway sign on the right.

This slip road, shown below, is already subject to a 30 mph speed limit because of the tight turn. An adThe slip road from the A329(M) to the M4 westbound. Traffic for 'Wokingham North' would keep straight on.ditional branch would go straight ahead, to pass either over or under the other slip roads and thence to run parallel to the A329(M).

Traffic from the M4 that is bound for 'Wokingham North' will then branch from the merged slip roads before they join the main A329(M). The new slip road would run parallel to the A329(M), under the A321 Twyford Road, to the new exit, which would be a  conventional gyratory.

Traffic joining the A329(M) northbound will need to flow initially in the wrong direction from the gyratory road, and then loop round in order to provide an adequate distance between this slip road and the M4 westbound exit from the A329(M). This would still be many miles shorter than the alternative, which would be to travel either through Wokingham or along inadequate back roads to reach Coppid Beech, then travel nearly three miles back north-westwards to reach the same point on the A329(M).  

Possible arrangement of Ashridge Interchange in yellow. Note the loop-back for M4-bound traffic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Bell Foundry Lane will need to be upgraded to cope with local traffic, but the vast majority of drivers would be heading for the Reading Road, using the tunnel link suggested elsewhere Reading Road immediately to the south of Beeches Manor and the site of the Station Link Road junctionon this web site.

The tunnel would emerge at the old 'Beeches Manor' on the Reading Road, immediately opposite the proposed Station Link Road.

Thus, motorists planning to avoid central Wokingham will not have to pass Shute End, one of the worst points locally in terms of air quality.

 

 

Note: The Central Berkshire Transportation Study of 1996 gave some inconsistent information. It costed a simple diamond-shaped junction with the A321 at only 2 million, but admitted that this design would be impossible to build. An unpublished Briefing Note showed a more complex layout that would have been much further to the east, and would require extensive earth-moving at the existing cutting, as shown here:

Possible layout taken from Briefing Note for CBTS Steering Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

 

 

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