Emergency Maintenance Works in Friar Street Extended
Emergency repairs to Friar Street in Reading Town Centre will now run into the weekend due to delays caused by a combination of the discovery of items of historical interest underground and continuing sub-zero temperatures.
Works to repair the road surface on Friar Street, between Greyfriars Road and Station Road, were originally due to be complete on Friday (Feb 22) this week. While excavating the road on Tuesday morning however Council workers discovered a number of bones and shoe soles underground, which were later confirmed by specialists archaeologists to date back to the 12th century.
Further investigative works by the Thames Valley Archaeological Services delayed the road repairs for a period and this delay has now been exacerbated by the overnight freezing temperatures. New road surfaces cannot be laid while temperatures are at sub zero.
It means the works along Friar Street are now expected to run through into the weekend. At this stage it is not known whether the road will re-open on Saturday evening or on Sunday. Residents are asked to keep up to date with the very latest information at http://www.reading-buses.co.uk
In the interim, buses which use Friar Street will continue to be diverted with temporary bus stops provided. Bus passengers are being advised to go to the relevant bus operators websites, including http://www.reading-buses.co.uk, for more information. Emergency access will continue to be maintained at all times.
Tony Page, Reading's Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Transport and Planning, said: “Unfortunately a combination of factors out of our control has meant these essential works have had to be extended into the weekend. We thank bus passengers and local business and residents for their continued patience while the emergency works take place.”
Thames Water has also used the Friar Street works to carry their own works to their surface water sewer main. They have informed the Council they will need to carry out further works on the main at a later stage, but it is expected these works will be carried out under temporary traffic management arrangements and therefore without a road closure.
To the north of the town centre, the temporary weekend closure of Vastern Road in a westbound direction (i.e the station car park / TGI side of the road), to allow works on the new northern Station interchange to continue, will now not begin until 5am on Sunday morning (Feb 24) and will continue through until the evening of Sunday February 24. The closure had originally been planned to begin from 7pm on Friday February 22.
The vast majority of motorists affected by the temporary closure of Vastern Road from Saturday night will be coming from Castle Hill, Chatham Street, London Road, Southampton Street and the A33. They will be directed clockwise around the IDR towards Caversham Rd. Other motorists who find themselves approaching the eastern end of Vastern Road will be directed over Reading Bridge and back across the Thames at Caversham Bridge, to continue their journeys.
Please contact Reading Borough Council's Highways Team on 0118 937 2113 should you require any further information before or during the works.