Work is about to start on hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of road improvements to future proof Langley.
In the next few weeks the Harrow Market junction, which is currently a roundabout where Langley Road, Station Road and the High Street meet, will get a £750,000 remodel.
The meeting of the three roads will be managed by traffic lights with a pedestrian crossing positioned at each junction.
The work has been made possible with funding from Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and is the second phase of work the village will benefit from. The first set of improvements included upgrading pedestrian and cycle access around Langley train station, a new zebra crossing on Station Road, and improving drainage in the area to reduce localised flooding.
The latest work is being started in the quieter summer holidays to minimise the disruption to local residents and commuters as much as possible.
Other work will include widening the roads at the Harrow Market junction, the removal of speed cushions on all approaches to the current roundabout, resurfacing work and adjustments to street signs and guardrails.
The village’s millennium monument will be removed from the roundabout and kept in storage for a short time before being repositioned in a new home. A new path with lighting will also be created in Langley Memorial Ground. No trees will be removed during the work and care will be taken when working around tree roots.
The work is being carried out because Hollow Hill Lane will close at a date yet to be determined, but expected to be before 2027, as part of the planned Western Rail link work to Heathrow. This work by Network Rail is due to start in 2022.
In 2016, during a consultation exercise, Hollow Hill Lane/ Market Lane was closed near the bridge to gauge the impact on the road network in Langley and residents’ views were canvassed.
The feedback via direct contact from residents, councillors, parishes and commuters was focused on congestion at the Harrow Market roundabout and High Street.
The road closure revealed Harrow Market roundabout was unable to cope with the increase in traffic volume.
Since the consultation, engineers have carefully considered the feedback and examined various models, which will be able to have a positive effect on journey times and reduce congestion in Langley before and after the closure of Hollow Hill Lane/Market Lane.
Engineers have determined that removing the roundabout and replacing it with a traffic light controlled three-way junction will create better traffic flows today and in the future.
Cllr Rob Anderson, cabinet member for transport and environmental services, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience and noise caused during these improvements.
“We are very grateful for the support from Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to be able to remodel the junction which will be needed because of the future closure of Hollow Hill Lane and Market Lane, something which is beyond our control.
“We hope residents and commuters will bear with us while this work is taking place and it will benefit those traveling around Langley when it is completed.”