Neighbours and residents have warned of crashes at a busy Woodley roundabout where a new Starbucks drive thru is planned. But planners say the designs are safe.

Plans to build the Starbucks at The Point in Woodley have been submitted to Wokingham Borough Council. If approved, the drive-thru would be built in the middle of the gyratory – a circular road that functions like a roundabout – on the A4 London Road.

But one neighbour has warned that the speed and volume of traffic around the existing shops already poses a danger – with “many accidents” and speeding “boy racers.”

Peter Wheat of Shepherd Walk, beside the roundabout, told Wokingham Borough Council’s planning department: “I live on Shepherds Hill gyratory, and have seen many accidents (more than 10) in my time here, including a car entering my neighbours back garden.”

He added: “Over the past 20+ years, traffic has increased markedly, due both to increased car ownership, and the increase in retail activity.

“The design of the gyratory has not kept pace with these changes, and encourages people to travel at speed, and is very popular with the local boy racers.”

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Mr Wheat said he wasn’t necessarily against the plans – but that if they went ahead the speed limit should be reduced to ten miles per hour and traffic calming measures should be installed.

Another nearby resident, Ben Daish of Harding Road, said the roundabout is already ‘hard to enter at the best of times.’ He said: “I am concerned by the increased volume of traffic this will bring.

“I think this plan needs to be declined for the good of the local area and its residents.”

But planners said their designs for traffic and parking are safe. A transport statement from Stuart Michael Associates said the Crashmap website showed there had been four ‘slight accidents’ at The Point in the past five years, and all caused by drivers’ mistakes.

It said: “The causes of all the incidents on London Road are a result of driver or error and not any deficiencies in the highway itself.”

The Crashmap website records 10 accidents at the gyratory – one of which was ‘serious’ – with four of them immediately next to The Point.

A planning statement from Woolf Bond Planning said the designs would accommodate space for a queue of up to eight cars, and also include 46 parking spaces.

Some neighbours also welcomed the plans. Ashleigh Rigby of Lysander Close said: “I think this is a great opportunity in this area and will provide many working people another space to enjoy coffee and work as well as people that just want a quick coffee or tea.”

And Erin Cahill of Butts Hill road said simply: “Think it’s a wonderful idea.”