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."

                History - Berks CC Committee Minutes 1971-7

Berkshire County Council Minutes:

Ashridge Interchange

Woosehill development

Highways and Transportation sub-committees

Summary of Newspaper Reports, 1968-69

Wokingham Times Articles, 1968-9, by subject:

Bracknell Town

Wokingham Town

Wokingham One-Way System

The Land Commission and Woosehill

Reading Road and Winnersh

Build-up of opposition to Ashridge proposals

Public Inquiry
Week 1

Public Inquiry
Week 2

Public Inquiry
Week 3

Newspaper reports, late 1970

Summary of Newspaper reports, 1971-5

Wokingham Times Articles, 1971-5, by subject:

Wokingham Town


Public Inquiry, Summer 1973


Woodley and Earley

The M4, A329(M) and IDR

In the 1970s, Berkshire County Council changed shape after Local Government reorganisation, and committee names changed as well. The County lost the Vale of the White Horse, but gained Slough, and the focus changed in later years to reflect the 'M4 Corridor'. Prior to Local Government reorganisation, Reading Borough had responsibility for its roads, but this responsibility was taken over by Berkshire County Council.

NOTE: ‘Part II’ means that the committee voted to
exclude the Public in order to discuss confidential matters.

Minutes of the Highways and Bridges sub-committee (old Berkshire County Council up to March 1974):

From March 1972, Minute D/78 (Part II): Royal County of Berkshire Strategic Road Plan:

Plan Period I to 1980: ‘A321: Wokingham Town Centre Distributor Road to The Throat (B3016 junction)’ in plan period 1971-75 is for a Single 7.3-metre carriageway. (Marked on Map 4219/1).

Plan Period II to 1990: ‘A321: Wokingham Town Centre Distributor Road to The Throat (B3016 junction)’ in plan period 1981-85 is for Dual 7.3-metre carriageways. (Marked on Map 4219/2).

Page D211 – Appendix No. 5 to Part II of Minute D/178:

Report of the Working Party set up to investigate the proposed connection of the Winnersh Interchange to the A321 Wokingham-Twyford Road, July 1972:

  • Pressure from Thames Valley Police to open the Winnersh Interchange [Junction 10].
  • Wokingham Borough Council wanted to limit opening to the Loddon Bridge turnoff, arguing that, without the A321 junction, Bracknell traffic will continue to use the Holyport Interchange.
  • A329 from Loddon Bridge to Wokingham, carrying 2000 vehicles in the peak hour against a theoretical capacity of 1100 vehicles an hour. The number of personal injury accidents in the last three years on the section between Loddon Bridge and the one-way system is 111, including 5 fatalities.
  • The A321 Milton Road is carrying 300 vehicles per hour in the peak. Theoretical capacity is 650/hour. In three years only 3 personal injury accidents on this section, none fatal.
  • Bracknell traffic to/from the A321 link estimated at 1562 vehicles per 16-hour day in 1972. No need to signpost the route via the Forest Road, because regular users will quickly learn it.

There was a thread of Minutes concerning the bus-only exit from Milton Road to Rectory Road. Bus drivers considered it dangerous and wanted driver-controlled traffic signals.

Minute D/221 (November 1972) on Wokingham one-way system:

  • Experimental extension of existing system after closure of Forest Road as a through route caused pressure on the one-way system.
  • Introduced on 3rd September 1972, covering Wellington Road, Station Road, Shute End and Broad Street.
  • To be revoked, but with a contingency plan to re-introduce it if needed after the temporary A321 link is opened.

November 1972: Dc/1268: Lighting to be provided at the temporary A329(M) / A321 junction; 10 lamp standards.

February 1973: Appraisal of the use of Lines Road, Hurst, following closure of the Dunt Lane/Forest Road junction. Usage had increased significantly.

May 1973: Tenders were to be invited for 15 and 21-month contracts for Phase II of the A329 Relief Road to Amen Corner. It was felt that the 15-month option would cost more, but this was to be preferred.

D/367: Redevelopment at Wokingham Station – Arguments for and against new barriers with skirts as opposed to the existing wooden gates, which had years of life left in them.

D/386: Advance orders were to be placed for water-main and PO telephone duct/cabling diversion, to enable Phase II to start as soon as the contractor has been chosen.

September 1973: D/411: Costain won the tender and hoped to start within a month. In all cases, the 15-month contract was quoted lower than for the 21-month version.

[Many references in Minutes around this time, to properties in Anderson Avenue, Earley. Some dwellings here and in Loddon Bridge Road were surplus, and were to be disposed-of.]

September 1973: The A329(M) A4 to Loddon Bridge section was expected to open in Spring 1974.

1974: This section opened on 14th February 1974 using only one carriageway over the Loddon viaduct. The second carriageway on the viaduct was due to open in a month or so.

Berkshire County Council, post-reorganisation, set up an Environment Committee to cover planning, waste, land-use and transportation.

Transportation Sub-Committee:

26th November 1974:

Budget Estimates for 1977/8:

  • A329(M) A4 – Kennet Mouth £10.87 million;
  • A329(M) Kennet Mouth – Vastern Road £5.085 million.

29th July 1975:

Item 15 (Part II): Arrangement to settle penalty payments on A329(M) section to A4:

  • Loddon Viaduct part-completed in Week 140;
  • Final completion: Week 148.

There was a Minute to remove a stretch of road from future plans. It stated that in 1968 the Highways and Bridges Committee of the Berkshire County Council had approved a line for the A329 Relief Road between Wokingham (Amen Corner) and the County Boundary at Virginia Water, as shown on Drawing 4127/8. This was to be removed from future plans.

These Committee Minutes can be viewed at Berkshire Record Office.

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