Traffic Chaos at Wrecclesham Rail Bridge to be resolved?

In June, when SCC Highways installed Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) on either side of Wrecclesham rail bridge, everyone thought the problems at the bridge were over. On the South side, once detected by the VAS: “Over Height Vehicle Divert” HGV drivers can take the diversion by turning right along Weydon Lane.

However, on the North side of the bridge, over-height HGVs are warned by the VAS “Over Height Vehicle Turn Back” But there is NO possible diversion, so drivers have been reversing back down Wrecclesham Road to the Coxbridge Roundabout. Or even worse, reversing into The Hatches (a bridleway) or Wey Meadow Close (a small housing estate) attempting to turn around.

This has resulted in complete traffic chaos, danger to pedestrians, broken-up pavements and damage to the pedestrian crossing at Wey Meadow Close.

Even more worrying, is the potential risk this poses to the dozens of school children who walk to and from Weydon School every day along this stretch of Wrecclesham Road.

However, a possible solution was proposed when as the Ward Borough Councillor, I met with Wrecclesham Road resident, Jeff Walker and local businessman, Alan Vallis who suggested the vacant land located beside the Network Rail Depot (where the National Flood School use to be), could be changed to provide a turn-around for HGVs stopped by the VAS.

Subsequently I raised this suggestion with the Local Committee when it met on 27 September and asked if SCC Highways Officers could meet me onsite to discuss the potential solution to this serious problem. Frank Apicella, SCC Area Highway Manager responded by saying Officers would be happy to meet with me onsite to discuss the matter further.

A date for the onsite meeting has now been secured for the end of November, so this is a positive step in the right direction, and I’m hopeful that a solution can be found and implemented as soon as possible for the benefit of those residents that live on the North side of the bridge. There’s the issue of the land ownership, but hopefully that can be resolved.

Peter Clark


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