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Orcas could be coming to Thatcham's roads 

Black and white 'fins' would segregate bicycles and cars 

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Orcas could be coming to Thatcham's roads 

A SPECIAL new measure could be introduced along the A4 through Thatcham in a bid to improve safety for cyclists. 

Orcas are used to separate cycle lanes from the rest of the road, with the black and white rubber ‘fins’ designed to provide protection to cyclists.

The orcas could be bolted on to West Berkshire Council’s project to upgrade cycleways from Newbury to Theale, the first stage of which has been carried out at Benham Hill. 

Outlining the progress at a Thatcham Town Council planning and highways meeting last week, Steve Ardagh-Walter (Con, Thatcham West) said: “The plans aren’t 100 per cent finalised. There are some interesting road safety devices.

“Officers are looking at options.

“They [the orcas] are in Wokingham. They are potentially to be trialled and, if seen to be good, will be introduced.” 

The work could form part of second phase of the district council project, which will see the introduction of cycle lanes, improved crossing facilities and parking restrictions imposed along the A4 through Thatcham.

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

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 along the A4.

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

The scheme includes a no-stopping area outside Francis Baily Primary School on the A4 between 8am and 5pm from Monday to Friday during term times. 

Rob Denton-Powell (Con, Thatcham South and Crookham) asked the council to take note, saying: “I think we need to be cognisant that there will be parents dropping off children and that could cause some issue at dropping off and picking up times.” 

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Article comments

  • EugeneStryker

    21/08/2018 - 10:10

    It is a shame that the 'bloody cyclists' rhetoric holds so much sway over the decisions made on what to do with our built environment. We should criticise these bollards because they don't go far enough and we want proper Dutch-esque segregated cycle paths. Research suggests that the ROI on cycle infrastructure is anywhere between 2:1 to 35:1. Research has also shown house prices are positively impacted by the proximity of segregated cycle lanes. We regularly hear about the challenges faced by Thatcham retailers - they should google 'Steve Robson Acorn Hardware' to see how someone with entrenched anti-cyclist views had his mind changed by his increase in turnover subsequent to new cycle infrastructure outside his shop.


  • Ihavenonickname

    20/08/2018 - 17:05

    What a waste of paint, rubber and bolts! It only takes a couple of impacts from HGVs and we'll have the extra expensec of repairing/replacing/removing them!


  • Littlegos

    20/08/2018 - 16:04

    More money wasted


  • NewburyLad

    20/08/2018 - 13:01

    "Removal of traffic island ‘pinch points’" so that means make it less safe for pedestrians to cross the road?


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