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Solution to Thatcham's level crossing congestion proposed

Newbury UKIP proposes a scheme which could cost between £22m and £30m

John Herring

Reporter:

John Herring

Contact:

01635 886633

Solution offered to solve Thatcham level crossing congestion

NEWBURY UKIP thinks it has solved Thatcham’s level crossing woes.

Fed-up members have drawn up a design (pictured) which they say will remove the delays at Thatcham’s congestion hotspot.

The party said it was also responding to recent articles in The Newbury Weekly News, when Network Rail and West Berkshire ruled out building a bridge at Thatcham and Colthrop. 

The design, which is not a formal planning application, would see a double bridge constructed off Pipers Lane over the railway and the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The new road would then curve across farmland south of the railway, crossing the River Kennet at a third bridge, and join the junction at Crookham Hill and Chamberhouse Mill Lane.

Changes would also be made to Thatcham station’s parking.

A new one-way lane on Station Road would allow vehicles to access a car park and taxi rank.

Access to the Swan and Royal Mail depot would remain.

The existing level crossing would be closed off and a wheelchair and cycle-friendly footbridge built.

A new car park would be constructed on farm land south west of the level crossing.

The entrance to Thatcham Town Football Club would be closed and a new entrance constructed off Chamberhouse Mill Lane.

Newbury UKIP says its suggestion, drawn up by party members with engineering experience, would cost between £22m and £30m.

It says the project could be funded by Network Rail, West Berkshire Council and Government departments.

Other funding would come from housing developments planned for Thatcham, while another source could come from applying a levy on the sold price of houses.

The scrapping of the HS2 high-speed rail project between London and the North could pay for this scheme and many others, UKIP said.

The party said in its design: “We believe our proposal is well worth serious consideration for the benefit of all those that live, work, play in or just pass through this part of West Berkshire and would like to encourage the local MP, district and town councillors to put aside political differences and use their power to support this proposal.”

However it admits that traffic volume in the area would increase as a result of the station bypass.

And HGVs would use the route unless a restriction was imposed on Crookham Hill. This is countered in that the bridges would reduce the number of vehicles using the A4 through Thatcham.

“The long exasperated waiting, not just for one train but two or three will be something we will only talk about in the future,” the party said.

“With hundreds of new homes in the pipeline the volume of traffic on roads will only increase, resulting in longer queues.”

Responding to concerns that a bridge would open up the green fields south of Thatcham for development, the party said that this could happen regardless.

It added it was unlikely as the area is a flood plain.

The party said it wants to hear residents’ views and, if its proposal found favour, would take it to West Berkshire Council. Contact ian.waters@ukipnewbury.org

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Article comments

  • Tricky

    15/10/2015 - 09:09

    The logic of WBC defies belief, it has built a bridge for traffic to the new homes by Newbury racecourse, a relatively local problem. It is working with network rail on a bridge at uffton, which considering the level of traffic on that road is also a relatively local problem. Yet barriers are considered good enough for Thatcham, and it considers this a relatively local problem when this is a major route and carries probably a hundred times the traffic of either of the other routes. No new house building should be allowed in Thatcham unless this crossing is replaced.

    Reply

  • quadnewbury

    14/10/2015 - 09:09

    when the Ordnance depot was turned into a giant housing estate, WBC should have insisted part of the deal would include the developers financing a bridge over the crossing.

    Reply

    • Truelocal

      14/10/2015 - 10:10

      totally agree. were did the developers contribution actually go WBC ?

      Reply

  • Truelocal

    14/10/2015 - 06:06

    This won't work either, look at the size of the newbury race course bridge and how much land is required. Politics should stay out of civil engineering....

    Reply

  • BEL_P

    13/10/2015 - 19:07

    Thatcham level crossing barriers broken again today. Closed for over 2 hours with network rail doing nothing to notify people stuck in the queue or diverting traffic away

    Reply

    • MagicMike

      13/10/2015 - 19:07

      I got stuck in it myself. I ended up going doing what should only have been a two mile trip from crookham to pipers lane via newbury. It took 30 minutes but I think I'm glad I did. Having now gotten home, I can see traffic stacked up as far back and onto the A4. It's mental.

      Reply

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