Tuesday, 09 March 2021

Bridge to close for safety work

WHITCHURCH toll bridge will be closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm on Thursday while new road safety measures are installed.

The owners are to install a rumble strip along the southern approach road at Pangbourne to stop drivers from drifting too close to the narrow pavement.

This follows a series of complaints from members of the public who said they had almost been clipped by vehicle wing mirrors and there were concerns that someone would be injured if action wasn’t taken.

The Whitchurch Bridge Company will also install new 20mph signs between the toll booth at the northern approach and the southern end of Whitchurch Road, near Pangbourne railway bridge to reflect a recent change in the speed limit.

It will also install “slow down” signs that flash when drivers approach the bridge too quickly from the south.

The company hopes to widen the southern approach road from 4.7m to 5.2m, then widen the pavement along the western carriageway by expanding it on to adjacent green land.

It is unlikely to be able to afford this before next year and will also need to convince West Berkshire Council that the safety benefits outweigh the visual impact on the listed bridge’s surroundings.

The company has been urging people to report all incidents and near-misses so that it can back up its argument with evidence.

The bridge will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists during next week’s work. The nearest alternatives for drivers are Caversham and Goring bridges.

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