It would be surprising if students, and Englefield Green residents, had not noticed the recent closure of Harvest Road.
Work began on Monday 4 January and is in aid of creating a revised two way road which is presupposed to help with congestion on the A30 for those living in, and around, the area of Middle Hill. However this work has involved the closing of a major section at the end of Harvest Road to all cars and pedestrians until the middle of April. The university recognises that the work ‘will be disruptive for people living both in the immediate area of Harvest Road and the surrounding streets’, but they state this disruption is obviously unavoidable, ensuring they ‘will work hard to keep local residents updated on what to expect and when, with information through letterboxes and regular updates on our website’.
‘Local residents should be assured that we are completing this work as quickly as possible, and are confident that the change to road layout will help to manage traffic flow through the village.’
The planned work is fuelled by a larger estate plan which, in the long term, aims to provide a larger scale ‘21st century campus’, creating not only new teaching areas, but also more residential accommodation for Royal Holloway Students.
Despite the positive impact that the work claims to be in aid of, it is undeniable that the disruption is causing a slight stir among students. Resident of Harvest Road and second year Geographer Julia Coonan comments that although it cannot be considered a major problem, with a detour of no more than 5 minutes, ‘it is still noisy and slightly disruptive to our everyday life’. To an extent this disruption was expected, but Julia also claims that the work is a relative danger stating that ‘the builder’s don’t seem to have a regard for our safety, their vehicles keep backing up without looking properly and only this morning (04/02/2016), a pneumatic drill was being used right next to the pedestrian walkway, about ten centimetres away from me!’
The work is not only an inconvenience for students, it could be suggested that this is having a considerable effect on few local businesses. Is the minor 5 minute detour up and across the bridge is acting as a deterrent to many students who would often be regulars down Harvest Road to The Happy Man or Armstrong Gun?
Hopefully all this disruption will be short lived – Royal Holloway.ac claims that the road will be reopened by April with ‘significant improvements’ that will, in the long term, be mutually beneficial for students, residents and businesses.
The work can be followed online and for any further details email [email protected]