Monday, 15 August 2022

Crossing benefits in doubt

Crossing benefits in doubt

A THIRD bridge over the River Thames in Reading would help reduce traffic coming over Henley Bridge, according to a study.

The traffic modelling study was carried out by Wokingham Borough Council in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Reading Borough Council and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Henley’s county councillor and cabinet member for environment, said there were benefits and downsides for different communities.

Speaking at a Henley Town Council meeting on Tuesday, he said: “The data goes as far as Basingstoke in the south and Oxford to the north.

“What it does in Henley is reduce the amount of traffic coming over the bridge and along the Reading Road to Shiplake.

“The other side to this is there is more traffic to Nettlebed and Sonning Common.

“It is not clear if there is a benefit. I’m happy it reduces traffic coming through Henley but other people around here will have other views.”

If the bridge was built it would most likely go from the Thames Valley Business Park, off the end of the A329M, over the river and Caversham Lakes to the A4155 Caversham Park Road, near Playhatch.

The cost would be anything between £100million and £200 million.

Councillor Nimmo Smith said the bridge would redistribute traffic around Reading.

He added: “There would be more traffic going into Cemetery Junction, which many people will know is a bottleneck at the best of times. We are not sure if the new bridge would be of benefit to the wider community.”

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