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A329 Three Tuns Crossroads Feedback to National Highways

Campaigns Consultations

We were contacted by WSP, acting as consultants to National Highways, who are looking into the use of the existing walking, cycling and horse-riding facilities in the vicinity of the A329 Three Tuns Crossroads which is located in Earley which is to the east of central Reading. As part of this WSP are undertaking a Walking, Cycling and Horse-Riding Assessment Report (WCHAR) in line with DMRB document GG 142.

The scheme itself is primarily focussed on improving and addressing the safety and segregation issues for pedestrians at the Three Tuns Crossroads.

We were asked for feedback to understand any needs and concerns we have with regards to the existing routes in the local vicinity with respect to existing and potential improvements to the provision for walking, cycling and horse-riding, or any planned schemes within the area.

The feedback will be used to inform the opportunities identified in the WCHAR report.

RCC Response to WSP

We consulted a number of RCC members who have made comments about the Three Tuns junction.

The Three Tuns crossroads is the junction between two major traffic routes, the A329 which provides the main direct route between Reading and Wokingham and the B3350 which is a radial traffic route between Woodley and south Reading. It is a heavily trafficked junction that is busy throughout most of the day. As well as longer distance through traffic using the junction, there is also local traffic, as well as a significant number of walking and cycling journeys in the area around the junction from adjoining homes, shops, schools and local park.

The junction is controlled by traffic signals, with signal controlled pedestrian crossings on only two of the four approach roads at the junction. The A329 Wokingham Road approach has an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing at the junction, whilst the Church Road approach has no pedestrian crossing facilities at all. The heavy traffic flows make it very difficult for pedestrians to cross on these two roads and mean long delays for pedestrians crossing at the other signal controlled crossings. Increased traffic levels over the past few years have made conditions more difficult for pedestrians. The lack of formal crossing makes it especially difficult for those wishing to cross Church Road in order to access the local shops, including takeway and Coop neighbourhood store. There are also problems for those wishing to cross roads in the vicinity of the junction due to a lack of suitable safe crossing points.

There is a complete lack of safe or convenient cycle facilities through the junction in either direction and there are no alternative cycle routes in the immediate vicinity of the junction. Although there are advanced stoplines for cyclists on all four approaches to the traffic signals, there are no cycle lanes feeding into the advanced stoplines. There are on-carriageway cycle lanes on the A329 both east and west of the junction, but these do not extend to the junction. Travelling through the junction is unpleasant and feels unsafe, even as a relatively experienced cyclist, as you are riding in relatively narrow traffic lanes with heavy vehicle flows. Turning right at the junction is especially problematic for cyclists as this means crossing busy lanes of moving traffic. I would not recommend the junction for less experienced cyclists or for those cycling with children.

We would suggest that any study should include a review of reported road casualties in the study area to identify casualty sites for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as sites where there are safety concerns, as opposed to reported injury casualties. We would also suggest pedestrian and cycle surveys on routes around the area to identify the numbers of cyclists and pedestrians using the junction, crossing roads in the area around the junction, as well as those using other routes to avoid this junction.

In terms of improvements, we would suggest that an all-red signal stage for traffic to enable pedestrians to safely cross all roads at the junction should be considered. Alternatively, consideration should be given to introducing a formal crossing on Church Road. Tightening kerb radii at the junction would provide additional footway space for pedestrians and would slow turning vehicle movements. In particular, the Wokingham Road/Homes Road junction could be tightened up to make the junction easier for pedestrians to cross. Other options could include coloured surfacing to make crossings more visible or even low speed tables.

We would also suggest a reallocation of roadspace to provide continuous cycle lanes through the junction along the A329 corridor. Improved links to Reading University via Earley Gate on Whitekights Road should also be considered.

Next Steps

We will provide updates as available.

1 thought on “A329 Three Tuns Crossroads Feedback to National Highways

  1. “the Church Road approach has no pedestrian crossing facilities at all”……….. This is an extraordinary situation and there have been many near misses. A cyclist died a few year ago as a result of crashing into a pedestrian crossing at this point, as pedestrians will continue to do, of course, in the real world.

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