Parish Councillors attended the exhibition at the Coleview Community Centre on 23rd January 2018 to view the Borough’s proposals for the A419/A420 corridors. The plans are also displayed on the SBC website and can be seen here.
The preferred option for the White Hart roundabout is similar to that proposed last year, but with more detail. It confirms that, contrary to recent rumours, there was never a proposal to close Ermin Street, which would now join up with Oxford Road opposite the White Hart pub.
This means the existing access from the White Hart roundabout up to Ermin Street can be closed, allowing the construction of a northern slip road onto the A420.
The plans for the White Hart show a footpath on the inner edge of the roundabout, with access from Oxford Road north and from the A420 side being given by light-controlled crossings. The Parish Council has previously argued against this and we have re-iterated our concerns.
The main change to the plans is that there is now an additional access from Covingham via the Merlin Way roundabout onto the White Hart roundabout, similar to the current arrangement, instead of having to negotiate Oxford Road to access the A419 north and A420 east.
Although the alternative “diamond interchange” at the White Hart was also on display, it is acknowledged that this may not be viable due to cost.
The route of the proposed new bridge across the A419, the ‘Great Stall Bridge’, was shown joining Merlin Way roundabout, but gave no details as to whether this will be a priority bus route or for general traffic. Indeed, there seems to be some question as to whether there is sufficient funding for the bridge without seeking more in the way of developer contribution, which might result in less money for other infrastructure.
There is no detail yet on traffic improvements along Oxford Road, particularly at the Nythe Road junction, which we see as a key element of any scheme.
There are still many issues to resolve, and the Parish Council has some concerns about the detailed pedestrian and cycle links, so liaison with highways officers in SBC will be continued.