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Arborfield relief road

Arborfield Cross Relief Road

Schedule of work 

  1. Spring 2019: Detailed design complete
  2. Winter 2018 / 2019: Site preparation and utilities re-routing
  3. Summer 2019: Construction begins
  4. November 2020: Road opened to traffic 

Watch the fly-through video

Watch the video, below, showing the route currently recently constructed as part of the Arborfield Cross Relief Road and works at Barkham Bridge. This was being delivered by us as part of our £124 million Major New Roads Project.

Current project status

Main works on the scheme are completed, with the road opening to the public in November 2020. Planting and landscaping works are still ongoing, along with remedial works for the swales (drainage channels). The final road safety audit (RSA4) was undertaken in February 2022. 

Confirmation of the Observer Way Traffic Orders can be seen below. These Orders grant the council permission to make alterations to roads or other highways affected by a major road scheme - in this case, the realignment of Swallowfield Road and building of the new staggered junction with Observer Way.

More detailed progress on site can be seen on the regular project newsletters at the bottom of this page.

Watch the Green Bridge video

Watch the video below showing the installation of the new wildlife friendly green bridge in Arborfield.

Why we're building an Arborfield relief road

A sustainable new village with about 3,500 new homes is being built on the former Arborfield Garrison site. Shinfield Parish is also seeing significant development, with about 3,000 new homes being built in extensions to Shinfield Village, Three Mile Cross and Spencers Wood. The relief road is intended to minimise the impact of traffic growth on the villages of Arborfield and Arborfield Cross and the surrounding rural lanes.

The new 2.3km relief road will reduce congestion, boost employment and create opportunities for more sustainable travel, providing traffic relief in Arborfield and Arborfield Cross and the surrounding rural lanes..

Check our  Facebook and  Twitter traffic and travel pages, as well as the Elgin Roadworks website to help plan your journeys in advance. 

To find out more about the Arborfield Major Development see the:


Our Local Plan (Core Strategy), which set Arborfield Garrison and Shinfield Parish as major development sites, identified a possible relief road for Arborfield. A study considered four potential routes and made a technical recommendation that Option A be taken forward. We consulted on the options in 2013 and found there was a clear public preference for Option B.

The Council’s Executive approved the progression of Option B in March 2014 and a refinement study was undertaken. Following completion of the refinement work our Executive approved the refined Option B to be developed to a full planning application in March 2015. 

Arborfield Cross Village Improvements Project

As part of the ACRR (Arborfield Cross Relief Road) project, we have an opportunity to improve the road network within Arborfield Cross and Arborfield Village. 

An initial consultation was held 1 April to 7 May 2019 and the consultation report can be found below:

A preliminary design consultation was held 14 August to 14 September 2020 and the consultation report and appendices can be found below:


The detailed design is now being developed through a steering group supported by the parish council and further public consultation and information will be provided where appropriate. Construction is planned to be complete by winter 2022. We've also put together some Frequently Asked Questions (PDF document) about the Arborfield Village Improvements. 

Route option appraisal

The 2010 Wokingham Borough Council Local Plan (Core Strategy) identified a number of major development locations across the Borough. A number of strategic transport improvements were highlighted in the Local Plan (Core Strategy). Policy CP18 and Appendix 7 specifically identified a relief road for Arborfield Cross.

The Council commissioned a study to examine the potential options and interventions to reduce traffic growth on Arborfield Cross and local facilities. The outcome of the study was presented in an Options Appraisal Report (below) with a technical recommendation to progress with Option A.


In September to October 2013 we consulted on the 4 routes for the Arborfield Cross Relief Road. We got about 1,300 responses which was one of our biggest consultation responses ever. There was a clear public preference for Option B. The consultation also provided other useful information.

On 27 March 2014 the Executive approved additional funding to carry out the technical studies necessary to progress Option B. Details of these studies are available under the 'Refinement' tab, below.

Refinement work to Option B commenced in 2014 to further understand the delivery implications and costs of the preferred route.  This involved developing a preliminary alignment and junction designs, undertaking survey works, refining traffic modelling, scoping for an Environmental Impact Assessment (which will be available with the planning application) and liaising with landowners and immediately affected stakeholders.

During this stage the alignment was refined to minimise the amount of land it would take, retain as much of the field areas as possible, and take account of the need for noise, visual and landscaping mitigation.  

On 26 March 2015 the Executive approved the refinements to Option B and for the scheme to be developed to a full planning application. Details of the planning application progress are available under the 'Planning application' tab below.

Work on the planning application for the Arborfield Cross Relief Road began in late 2015 and an application was submitted in summer 2017. Significant survey work has been undertaken including ecology, groundwater, archaeology, geotechnical and tree surveys to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment. Further transport modelling has also been undertaken to inform a Transport Impact Assessment.

We have spent time engaging with landowners, the parish council, key stakeholders and user groups including the Local Access Forum to develop the design, including the provision of a green bridge for pedestrians and wildlife for a footpath that crosses the new road (PROW AR17.)

Pre-planning exhibitions

We held pre-planning exhibitions to update the public in June 2017.

You can view the pre-planning exhibitions below:  

The Planning Application was submitted and validated under planning reference (172209). Full Planning Consent was granted for the Relief Road at Planning Committee on 10 January 2018. 

Detailed design

The detailed design for the scheme has been completed and signed off by the Council as the Technical Approval Authority (see attached drawings).

This includes designs for improvements to an existing Environment Agency drainage system on the Arborfield Road between Bridge Farm and the River Loddon. This was found to be in poor condition during investigations and also drains part of the Arborfield Road. Including this in the design scope for the project will provide long term benefits to this section of the road.


Read the Arborfield Cross relief road construction programme (PDF document) to see a summary of the work.

Take a look at the newsletters for more detailed progress.       

To stay up to speed with all our Major Highways projects you can use our online form to sign up to our newsletter. You will also see other listings that may be of interest to you.

For more a detailed update specifically about Arborfield Cross Relief Road you can sign up to our contractor Balfour Beatty’s individual project update newsletters by emailing them at ArborfieldCross@balfourbeatty.com

Take a look at the newsletters below:

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