Anyone who has travelled through the Wantage area since the beginning of 2018 will know that road works have been multiplying and potholes are spreading as fast as the flu virus.
The A417 will continue to have multiple roadworks controlled by temporary traffic signals that cause delays to vehicle journeys and have generated a great deal of comment locally and on social media.
There is work on the eastern edge of Wantage at Crab Hill running until 29 June 2018; this is preliminary work being done by the developer on the highway to create an access. Further work affecting the road will be required as the site develops.
At East Hendred, where another housing development is being built, there is work on the A417 to create an access and connect to existing utilities. County Highways have agreed that this will finish by Friday 9th March 2018. This will allow SGN to come in to replace the existing gas main from 12th-23rd March (under temporary traffic signals).
SGN will then move on to West Hendred (for 4 weeks from 26th March) to upgrade capacity and ensure a safe and reliable service to the villages and Wantage.
Then East Hendred developers can put in an anti-skid road surface on the A417 and complete the pedestrian crossing, aiming to complete this work within two weeks working at night.
Unfortunately, this will not be the end of the story through East Hendred. British Telecom then need to provide a service duct to the new development and will need temporary lights. So don’t expect the road to be clear until sometime in May!
Following completion of these works, other than emergency works, the Highways Department say they will restrict any other work on A417 (until after completion of Crab Hill), to off peak working only, using strict hours of working and ensuring that utilities match up their works as far as is possible.
In the meantime, Oxford Lane, Grove will be closed to allow Thames Water to install a new water main from 12 March to 1 May.
This all sounds bad enough but these aren’t the only problems. There are several places where the contractors have already dug a trench but have failed to fill it in properly creating more potholes which then need more work.
We need to keep reporting all potholes on https://www.fixmystreet.com/ in the hope that things improve before we all have to replace the tyres on our cars.