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Thatcham's A4 set to go greener

Second phase of development will introduce cycle lanes, improved crossing facilities and parking restrictions

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas

fiona.tomas@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886639

Cycle

GREEN commuters are set to benefit from improved cycling and pedestrian facilities between Newbury and Thatcham as more plans for a transport project have been unveiled. 

The second phase of project Route NCN 422 will see the introduction of cycle lanes, improved crossing facilities and parking restrictions imposed along the A4 through Thatcham.

The development forms part of Newbury Vision, a strategy for the town, which, among other things, aims to increase travel choices and encourage journeys by rail, bus, walking and cycling.

The first phase of the development started in October 2017 with the completion of new cycle lanes on Benham Hill and a shared footway.

West Berkshire Council said that Benham Hill has among the highest number of cyclists in rush-hour peak across the entire district, despite the footway originally being 1.5m wide in places and having no provision for cyclists.

But the second phase of the work – which has been shaped by a public consultation – is set to rectify this and enhance further safety developments.

The plans include new parking restrictions to prevent vehicles blocking cycle lanes and the removal of traffic island ‘pinch points’ where necessary to create the space for on-carriage cycle lanes.

Work will also be carried out to remove or reduce the width/length of central hatching and right-hand-turn lanes where appropriate.

West Berkshire Council executive member for highways and transport Jeanette Clifford (Con, Northcroft) said: “I am very pleased that phase one of this exciting project is well under way.

“The phase two consultation produced some interesting ideas from members of the public for our engineering team to call upon as they complete the final design.

“The goal is to benefit everyone, whether they travel by cycle, on foot, car or bus or just live in the vicinity.

“This safer, better route will make the ‘green choice’ of travel by foot or cycle more attractive to more people – and that’s good for us all.”

Cycling champion for West Berkshire and ward member for Thatcham West Steve Ardagh-Walter said: “I’m very supportive of the scheme for several reasons.

“It will encourage more travel by cycle, with the associated benefits of improved health and wellbeing for cyclists.

“It will improve safety for cyclists, both the more and the less-confident.  

“It will also reduce traffic congestion and pollution by displacing some travel from car to bicycle.”

The results from the phase two consultation and detailed drawings can be found by visiting http://info.westberks.gov.uk/a4cycleimprovements    

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