Thu, 28 Jan 2021
PROPOSALS are being put forward to install a new cycle lane and change crossing points on the A4 and Thatcham High Street.
West Berkshire Council is looking to bring in the new measures to promote active travel, walking and cycling in the town, which it said the works would help achieve.
Under the proposals, the A4 between Beverley Close and High Street will be narrowed to create a kerb-segregated cycle track on both sides of the carriageway.
The cycleway would be 50mm higher than the road and 50mm lower than the pavement along the stretch.
The bus lay-by near Thatcham Medical Centre would be removed and the bus stop shelter relocated.
A bus stop boarder – a section of pavement for people to board – would be installed.
The staggered crossing opposite Crown Mead would be replaced with a single raised crossing to allow for continuous cycle lane protection.
Entrances to Crown Mead would also be raised to create a continuous footway.
Past High Street, the new cycle lane layout will continue into the mandatory cycle lane with orcas, rubber blocks used to separate cycle lanes from the rest of the road.
Bollards to mark parking bays and prevent vehicles from encroaching on to the cycle lane would also be installed on the south side of the A4 near Beverley Close.
A contra-flow cycle lane on the north side of High Street is also included in the project, along with removing the two car parking bays outside the former NatWest bank on the northern side.
Town councillors heard at a recent meeting that the district council had been awarded money to implement the second phase of an active travel plan.
District council highways officer Josh Kerry said that the council wanted to make Thatcham more attractive for cyclists.
He said that the council would speak with businesses, residents and landowners in the town about the plans.
He added that bits of carriageway and footway would need to be “nibbled” in some places, but the needs of all road users were trying to be balanced.
Simon Pike (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) said that the project would provide a direct crossing for cyclists in Thatcham going from north to south, something that was currently lacking.
Concerned about installing a contra-flow cycle lane in High Street, Richard Crumly (Con, Thatcham Central) said: “I would be totally against cyclists going against the flow.
“It has on-street parking at the moment, which might be a valuable asset for businesses, and therefore losing any parking spaces would be quite inappropriate.”
Mr Crumly said the council needed to be wary of installing something that might not be used.
“Time and again I see them cycling through the Kingsland Centre where cycling is banned,” he said.
“We might set up some fancy scheme and they might ignore it and cycle somewhere else as they do at the moment.”