Wed, 08 Aug 2018
NETWORK Rail has responded to comments made by developers proposing to build a bridge over the railway at Thatcham.
The Colthrop Village Consortium is proposing construction of up to 950 homes, a primary school, sports facilities and a riverside park south of the railway.
Two bridges, one over the River Kennet into the development from Crookham Hill and another spanning the railway line from the estate into Pipers Way, are also being put forward.
Speaking at a public exhibition about the scheme, director of planning at JSA Architects Mark Berry said: “All we are saying at the moment is our engineers are saying it will cost around £20m and that Network Rail may be able to provide funding.
“They would save £1m a year for not having a crossing there, so there’s a discussion to be had.”
He added that Network Rail was keen on closing the crossing.
Calls to have a bridge over the congestion hotspot have been made since the 1970s and a petition was launched two years ago calling on the Government to consider funding the structure.
But in response to Mr Berry’s comments, a spokesperson for Network Rail said: “We are currently undergoing a national level crossing closure programme, so support any plans for a bridge to be installed so road and rail can be separated.
“Currently we have no funding available for the construction of a bridge in Thatcham and the Department for Transport would have to be approached to see if any government funding is available.”
Network Rail questioned the £1m a year figure and restated that any decisions over funding would have to made by the Department for Transport.