COW Lane will be closed to all road users on the weekend of June 30th, before two-way traffic flow under the bridge is re-introduced in the early hours of Monday 2nd July.
Network Rail and its contractors are nearing the completion of junction realignment works at Cardiff Road. They now require the weekend closure in order to fully resurface Cow Lane, between the junctions of Portman Road and Cardiff Road, which has deteriorated during the works.
The weekend closure applies to all traffic, pedestrians and cyclists and is planned to take place from 0200hrs on Saturday 30th June until early hours of Monday 2nd July, weather dependant.
Advance warning signs will be put in place over the coming days. A diversion route will be in place for traffic throughout the closure, via Portman Road, Oxford Road, Bedford Road, Chatham Street, Caversham Road and Richfield Avenue (and vice versa). Vehicle access between Portman Road and the SafeStore entrance will be maintained throughout the temporary closure, controlled by portable traffic signals. There will be a separate signed diversion for pedestrians and cyclists to follow.
The reopening of the newly resurfaced road in the early hours of July 2nd coincides with the removal of the one-way restriction which has been in place since December last year. Cardiff Road will be reopened at the same time, following the recent realignment works.
Two-way traffic flows underneath the northern bridge will then remain in place for the duration of the Cow Lane improvement scheme. This will be managed by the traffic signals that were in place prior to the introduction of the temporary one-way restriction. The existing temporary pedestrian walkway under the bridge will also be retained.
When complete early next year, the Cow Lane improvements will bring major benefits to Reading’s road network. Cow Lane will become an important alternative route for lorries, commercial and other traffic which is just passing through west Reading, resulting in a safer and more pleasant local environment for residents and businesses along the Oxford Road. It will mean double decker buses will be able to cross Cow Lane for the first time, offering potential for new bus services and improving journey times for passengers. It will also mean traffic lights will no longer be needed through the bridges, with a new and safe route for both pedestrians and cyclists.
Ruth Leuillette, Senior Sponsor at Network Rail for the Cow Lane project, said:
“Winter weather conditions earlier this year combined with increased vehicle movements have seen a significant deterioration of the road surface at Cow Lane, between the junctions of Portman Road and Cardiff Road. We are taking the opportunity now to fully resurface the road, meaning it will be in a good condition for all road users passing under Cow Lane.”
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“The return of two-way traffic flows under Cow Lane on July 2nd brings to an end the one-way working which we know has caused enormous frustrations to all road users. I would additionally like to thank residents and business along Cardiff Road for their patience during the recent closure needed for realignment works.
“The weekend closure of Cow Lane from June 30th is now necessary for Network Rail to fully resurface the road. Advance warning signs will be in place over the coming days and we would ask people to plan their journeys over that weekend and build in extra time for journeys.”
Network Rail’s contractors have encountered significant issues with unforeseen ground conditions, drainage issues and uncharted buried services on the site since work began last year, meaning the full opening of the new Cow Lane scheme has been moved back to early next year.