Published on

21 March 2024

Funding boost puts new road on the route to completion

The South Wokingham Distributor Road will relieve pressure on the town centre thanks to Government support

South Wokingham Distributor Road Eastern Gateway roundabout

Funding for a major new road that will offer an alternative route that avoids Wokingham town centre has been secured.

The council has successfully applied for a £29.6 million contribution from Homes England, the Government's housing and regeneration agency, towards the completion of the South Wokingham Distributor Road (SWDR).

It will run from Finchampstead Road, near the Tesco superstore and the junction with Molly Millars Lane, and run roughly parallel to the railway line before emerging onto London Road, just west of Coppid Beech roundabout.

Two sections have already been completed: William Heelas Way off London Road, which serves the new Montague Park housing estate including Floreat Montague Park Primary School, and the Eastern Gateway which links to a new roundabout on Waterloo Road.

The SWDR will serve the 1,800 or so new homes which are going to be built to the south of the railway line in years to come, to meet both local demand and the Government's future expectations.

A share of funding for the new road will come from the contributions which developers have to make after getting planning permission for new housing. The developers will also build a primary school, community hall and allotments in this area.

By meeting expectations for housing provision in this part of the borough, the council will be legally in a much stronger position to reject planning applications for new homes in other, less suitable areas.

There'll be 3m wide verges planted with trees along its length to provide drainage and encourage walking and cycling, with pedestrians and cyclists given priority at junctions.

Work is set to start on the new road later this year and the council expects it to open to the public in 2026.

Cllr Lindsay Ferris, executive member for planning and local plan said: "We're incredibly thankful to Homes England for providing this much-needed funding boost, and I'd like to personally thank the officers who worked hard to write and submit our successful bid.”

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