West Berkshire Council

A339, Cheap Street and Bear Lane Improvements

A major road improvement project for Newbury started on 7 January 2019.

The £1.8 million project, funded by developer's contributions from the Newbury Racecourse development and Local Transport Plan capital grant funding recognises the need to create more capacity on the busy town centre network. The opportunity will be taken to resurface the roads during these works.

You can pdf icon view a list of Frequently Asked Questions [355kb] about the project.

Drawings showing the new road layout can be viewed below:

Phase 3 -  June to October 2019

Closure of Bear Lane exit from the A339 "Sainsbury's" roundabout and improve traffic flow and capacity of the roundabout by increasing lane widths and upgrading the old life-expired traffic signals. During construction the roundabout will operate by a system of temporary traffic lights and temporary "Give Way" markings. There will also be off-peak lane closures and temporary signals on Bear Lane. Pedestrians will have to use the subway as a diversion whilst the at-grade signalised crossings are installed.

The resurfacing will take place under a series of night road closures.

For previous phases, please see the pdf icon list of Frequently Asked Questions [355kb].

If you have any questions, comments or would like further information, please get in touch with the Highways Projects Team.

Traffic using the A339/Bear Lane Junction

End of Week 32 - Friday 23 August 2019

Written on: 23-8-2019

Drivers have now had a couple of weeks to get used to the temporary system of lights and Give Way markings on the A339 "Sainsbury's" roundabout. pdf icon View a diagram of the two phases of the temporary signals arrangement [172kb] .

Officers have worked closely with the Traffic Management Contractor to increase the green light duration on the A339 and tweak the other temporary signal phases to keep traffic moving.  Unfortunately as with most highway related activities a certain level of disruption is regrettably inevitable and this has intensified recently due to the additional school holiday traffic, bank holiday weekend and roadworks within the surrounding area that have had a knock on effect.

However the temporary layout has been of great benefit to progress activities on site as it has allowed for the old equipment to be removed. Since then the contractor has been hard at work replacing posts, cabinets, ducts and chambers for the upgraded system. New tactiles have been installed at the crossing points in the traffic island to the south of the roundabout and the footway is now ready for resurfacing.

Work has begun on the new signalised Toucan crossing on Bear Lane with new kerbs, channels, tactiles and post sockets installed on the south side near the roundabout. On the other side of Bear Lane the old kerb line has been removed and deep excavation underway to construct three new gullies to connect to the existing drainage system. The new kerb line has been constructed at the junction with Wharf Road and the temporary signals are no longer required.

Below is the works forecast for the week commencing Tuesday 27 August 2019:

  • Continue to break out and relay kerb line, tactiles and channels at the new crossing point on the north side of Bear Lane. Install new surface water drainage.

  • Break out kerb line, install new gully and drainage on A339 Northbound near to BT Telephone. There will be a lane closure to enable the tactile crossing, corduroy paving, duct work, new draw pit, NAL post retention sockets and loop box to be installed.

  • Excavate and connect draw pit, ducting, NAL socket, loop box on the A339 Central Island opposite Police station to the north of the roundabout.

  • Resurface footway areas within islands.

  • Continue installation of new traffic signals equipment.

Separate to this project the Market Street redevelopment is to have temporary signals outside the old bus station in operation from 27 August 2019. Unfortunately due to the sensitive location the temporary signals are expected to cause some disruption but this is unavoidable.

End of Week 31 - Friday 16 August 2019

Written on: 16-8-2019

This week the old traffic signals were switched off on the A339 "Sainsbury's" Roundabout and a temporary system of lights and Give Way markings were installed in their place. pdf icon View a diagram of the two phases of the temporary signals arrangement [172kb] .

This setup has enabled the contractor to remove the existing signal equipment and start to break out areas which were formerly part of the traffic islands but which will now make up additional traffic lanes. In these locations material has been excavated, a new layer of sub-base has been compacted in preparation for the base asphalt. 

A339 Rbt - Week 31
A339 Rbt - Week 31

The old traffic signal controller cabinets have been removed and work has began excavating and laying the bases for the new equipment. Similarly the old signal poles have been taken down and new NAL post sockets have been positioned in their place. New ducts have also been installed.

Elsewhere on Bear Lane temporary lights are in operation during off-peak periods to enable adequate working space to safely realign the kerbs at the junction with Wharf Road. Previously the kerb was had been overrun by buses and HGVs so the kerb line has been moved to prevent this reoccurrence. On Bear Lane the contractor is excavating in the footway to expose the LV electricity cable which will power the new relocated lamp column and illuminated signs.

Below is the works forecast for the week commencing Monday 19 August 2019:

  • Construct new kerb lines and drainage at the junction of Wharf Road and Bear Lane
  • Continue installation of ducting, NAL signal post sockets and traffic signal cabinet bases on Bear Lane, Mill Lane, Kings Road and A339 Roundabout
  • Lay footway binder layer on A339 south traffic island and Kings Road crossing
  • Lay new corduroy paving within the footway adjacent to the BT building

Separate to this project the Market Street redevelopment is to have temporary signals outside the old bus station in operation from 27 August 2019. Unfortunately due to the sensitive location the temporary signals are expected to cause some disruption but this is unavoidable.

End of Week 30 - Friday 09 August 2019

Written on: 9-8-2019

This week the contractor has laid new blockwork on the buildout on Bear Lane footway and continued to construct the dropped kerbs and civils for the new toucan crossing. On the north side of Bear Lane a duct has been installed to provide a new electrical supply to connect to the car park information mast.

The surface water drainage system has been flushed and surveyed to ensure that none of the carrier drains are blocked. The gullies have been cleaned and all silt and debris disposed of.

Next week we will reach a further milestone in the A339/Bear Lane/Cheap Street project. This coming Sunday (11/08/19) the contractor will be switching off the existing traffic lights at the A339 "Sainsbury's" roundabout so that they can begin installing the new ones.

This means that for the next few weeks the roundabout will operate using a combination of temporary traffic lights and "give way" lines. Traffic entering the roundabout from the south on the A339 or from Kings Road will be controlled by traffic lights but traffic entering from the north on the A339 or from Bear Lane will have to give way to circulating traffic. It also means that the pedestrian crossing across the A339 will have to be closed and pedestrians diverted under the subway.

pdf icon View a diagram of the two phases of the temporary signals arrangement [172kb].

Officers will be on hand to adjust the timings of the traffic lights but there will be an element of trial and error so it may take a few days for things to settle down.

Separate to the work at Sainsbury's roundabout, there will also soon be temporary traffic lights on Market Street so that contractors working for the developer can install hoardings in front of the old bus station. Advance warning signage will be put up with exact dates for these temporary lights.

Below is the works forecast for the week commencing Monday 12 August 2019:

  • Ducting, NAL signal post sockets and tactiles on Bear Lane and A339 Roundabout
  • Remove existing traffic signals equipment, cables and cabinets
  • Install new traffic signals cabinet bases and connect ducts
  • Breakout old kerb and footway adjacent to traffic islands and start new carriageway construction in A339 northbound

End of Week 29 - Friday 02 August 2019

Written on: 2-8-2019

A339 / Bear Lane - Bridge Joint

The new footway area at the Bear Lane closure took shape this week with new kerb lines and edgings installed and La Linia block paving laid to take the place of the old existing carriageway. Work began on the new Toucan signalised pedestrian crossing which is being constructed opposite the existing subway to give a new route for pedestrians to the new bus station. The contractor will continue to lay the tactile crossing, posts and ducts for this into next week.

Upcoming soon we expect to have temporary traffic signals in place on the Bear Lane roundabout to enable the removal of the old life-expired signals and replace with new upgraded equipment. The temporary signals will try to replicate the existing system to ensure minimal disruption to vehicle flows and details will be uploaded here once approved.

SSE have attended site and disconnected the existing illuminated signs on Bear Lane which have now since been removed. The lamp column on the north side footway has also been disconnected and will be relocated in due course.

Both A339 Southbound Railway and River bridge expansion joints were also completed at night earlier this week. The new carriageway surface was removed to expose the superstructure segments of the bridge and the joint filled with flexible bitumen mix to seal it and prevent water ingress and chance of corrosion.  The work involved deep excavation across the entire width of the carriageway so had to take place at night under a road closure to avoid causing disruption for traffic during the day. Under the southbound closure the Contractor also cut the remaining traffic loops into the carriageway for vehicle detection in place ready for the signals upgrade on A339 Bear Lane Roundabout.

Below is the works forecast for the week commencing 5 August 2019:

  • Drainage surveys and jetting to clean the drainage system
  • Lay new kerb line on traffic island west of Bear Lane Roundabout
  • Install sign posts for traffic islands on approaches to Bear Lane Roundabout 
  • Construct new Toucan Crossing on Bear Lane southern footway build out at point of new closure (Tactile paving, NAL Post Sockets and ducting)
  • Loop Boxes installed on A339 Bear Lane Roundabout in carriageway


End of Week 28 - Friday 26 July

Written on: 26-7-2019

This week the contractor has worked through the intense heat to install new kerbs on the A339 Bear Lane roundabout closing off the exit to Bear Lane and constructing a new layby and amended kerb line to the south of the roundabout. The layby will be for the use of traffic signal maintenance operatives. Work has also started on the changes to the kerb lines on Bear Lane opposite Wharf Road where a new buildout is being constructed and kerbs and footway being realigned ready to lay new block paving and construct a new signalised pedestrian crossing.


Elsewhere work resumed on the relocated pedestrian crossing on Kings Road opposite Sainsbury's to lay the tactiles and install new signal equipment. The post sockets and ducting is now in place but any further progress must now wait until the existing signal equipment is decommissioned before new posts, signal heads and cables are installed. The existing tired signals on the roundabout are due to be turned off and replaced with temporary signals next week to enable the contractor to install the new upgraded signal equipment.

Please note we have rescheduled works taking place overnight next week to complete works which were cancelled due to adverse weather earlier in the month.

Monday 29 July 20197:30pm - 6:00am

A339 Southbound Closed

From Robin Hood Roundabout to Bear Lane Roundabout

Plug the bridge joint on the A339 River Bridge. Cut traffic loops on A339 Carriageway.
Tuesday 30 July 20197:30pm - 6:00am

A339 Southbound Closed

From Bear Lane Roundabout to Burger King Roundabout

Plug the bridge joint on the A339 Railway Bridge.

The nature of these works will mean that the road will be closed at the locations and between the dates/times shown in the table above. This is to ensure the safety of both the contractor's operatives working on the highway and the general public still using the network.

Unfortunately a certain level of disruption is sadly inevitable and this is intensified given the town centre location and the A339 being the major arterial route through Newbury. Please visit roadworks.org for details of the traffic management and diversion routes. The works have been programmed overnight to minimise disruption but please accept our apologies in advance for any inconvenience that may be caused.

Below is the works forecast for next week commencing 29 July 2019:

Bear Lane

  • La Linia block paving on footway

  • Tactiles and Nal post sockets for new signal heads

  • Ducting for signal cables

  • Lay new kerbs at the new build out and complete remaining kerbs Bear Lane South side

  • Low Voltage cable investigation works

  • SSE Electrical Disconnections

  • Temporary Traffic Light installation to replace existing signals on A339 Bear Lane Roundabout

  • Wharf Road west kerb line and duct repair

  • Sign removal Bear Lane

Night works

  • A339 Southbound plug expansion joint of River Bridge and loop cutting (Monday 29 July)

  • A339 Southbound plug expansion joint of Railway Bridge (Tuesday 30 July)