Newbury bypass faces disruption

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The Independent Online
THE BITTERLY opposed pounds 100m Newbury bypass is likely to be subject to disruptive resurfacing work less than 10 months after opening.

The eight-mile road in Berkshire is having problems with its porous asphalt, which was designed to reduce noise and spray. From early September, the road is expected to be closed for a month in one direction, then closed for a further month in the other direction.

This will mean traffic will have to go back into Newbury while the work is carried out.

"This is extremely alarming news and questions are going to have to be asked about the standard of the work done," said an AA spokesman.

He went on: "This work is also going to cause much disruption for the people of Newbury, who thought they had got rid of through traffic when the bypass was completed."

Hundreds of protesters were arrested for demonstrating against the building of the A34 bypass. They included Swampy, the eco-warrior whose anti- bypass stance brought him national celebrity.

Earlier this year, it was reported that crater-like potholes had appeared in the bypass's asphalt. The Highways Agency said at the time that the holes would be filled in temporarily until more permanent repair work could be done.

The bypass was opened in November 1998 and was intended to reduce traffic using Newbury's inner ring road by 40 per cent. However, studies last month showed the reduction was only about 25 per cent.