£25m funding deal for Shinfield bypass and M4 bridge
13/03/2013 Highways Reporters
Funding has been secured to build the £25m Shinfield eastern relief road in Wokingham.
The bypass is a key link in Wokingham Borough Council's plans to build 2,400 homes in the area and unlock the University of Reading's science park developments.
The investment was announced by housing minister Mark Prisk visiting the Mitford Fields scheme, a 270-home new neighbourhood being built by Bovis Homes.
The Eastern Relief Road will help alleviate the impact of increased traffic caused by the developments by removing through traffic on the A327 in Shinfield.
It will link the A327 south of Shinfield with the Black Boy roundabout and will include a new road bridge over the M4. The investment will also provide an early access route for the University of Reading’s planned Science and Innovation Park, near Shinfield.
The investment for the road was secured by a bid put together by Wokingham Borough Council and the University of Reading. It will come in the form of a loan from the Homes and Communities Agency to the University of Reading.
Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “This funding will speed the process of developing the infrastructure required to build much needed housing, develop our Science and Innovation Park and create jobs.”
Colin Molton, HCA executive director for the South and South West, said: “Wokingham needs more homes to support the growth planned for the Borough, but this can’t happen without the investment in the Eastern Relief Road that the Minister has announced.
"We have worked hard to bring this complex agreement together in a very tight timeframe. Now the hard work really starts and we will be focused on ensuring that everything is in place so that work on building the new road can begin soon.”