Letter: No getting round the Newbury bypass

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The Independent Online
From Mr Colin Reid

Sir: If only the traffic situation at Newbury and the remedies were as simple as Danny Penman's story made out (Section Two; "On the road to war", 9 January).

Newbury suffers by being a crossroads town, which is bisected east-west by the Paddington-Penzance railway, and right at its centre by the Kennet river. There is no free way of crossing the Kennet. The old road is single- lane, traffic-light-controlled, over a historic, weight-restricted bridge. There is another one-way, single-lane, weight-restricted bridge, and there is the A34, cluttered with traffic lights and roundabouts. You can, if you wish, try a fourth bridge, about two miles away, near Thatcham. But the only river crossing in the district capable of carrying a full load of traffic is that of the A34.

A question never addressed by those who maintain that our problems can all be solved by traffic management is what happens to the 50,000 vehicles a day at present on the A34 while any one of the various schemes, tunnels, double-deckers, roads, etc are being built? Take a look at the map; there are no bridges and roads for it to use. Perhaps we build a bypass?

Meanwhile, we residents of Newbury have the noise, pollution and disruption caused by the A34's traffic, and people using the road suffer the misery of its delays and hazards.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Reid

Newbury, Berkshire

9 January