Congestion is one of Wokingham Borough Council’s most common and frequently reported concerns. The Council is now taking bold action to combat this and cut its carbon footprint in the process.
It is a delicate juggling act coordinating roadworks and minimising congestion so that they do not clash.
Wokingham Borough Council’s new intelligent transport systems will keep traffic moving as well as help the environment.
The Council is continuing to install responsive traffic light systems across the Borough, with smart software, allowing signals to work intelligently based on traffic demand during the day.
As the traffic signals are upgraded, local residents should begin to notice reduced delays and improved journey times thanks to a combination of cameras and sensors within the network to generate information about how you use the roads.
Compiling this information means the Council will be able to react faster to queuing and congestion by adjusting the lights’ signal phasing.
It could be, however, that parking controls or something more major is needed such as improving a junction.
In the future, live traffic data will feed directly onto road user apps and roadside information, suggesting best routes, adjusting speed limits and guiding you to car parks with available spaces.
All of this will help improve air quality and reduce congestion in the borough’s busiest areas, make journey times easier to predict, and avoid unnecessary driving around looking for parking spaces.
Managing roadworks across the Borough
The Borough Council’s Streetworks team grants the permits for roadworks.
They have the responsibility of making sure roads and utility mains are kept up to standard, as well as coordinating with large events happening in the Borough to ensure traffic moves as smoothly as possible around them.
It is a difficult balance to strike, with more than 15,000 applications coming in each year, trying to help residents get around easily while at the same time ensuring that utility essentials (gas, electricity, water, and internet for example) are installed and maintained.
Every application is checked for time frames and the type of traffic management needed, such as temporary lights or road closures and the Council will always push for the least disruptive option.
The Borough Council has laws that prevent newly-resurfaced roads from being dug up for up to five years, except for new utility customers or in emergencies.
Emergency works can be some of the most disruptive on the network but sometimes utility companies must provide these essential services.
With help from the Streetworks officers, the Council try to minimise disruption by checking their traffic lights are manned or are located in a place not hindering any movement.