In the Community
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The Bridge as a local Utility
Whitchurch Bridge is a busy river crossing carrying the B471 over the River Thames between Whitchurch-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and Pangbourne in Berkshire. The nearest alternative crossings are at Caversham Bridge in Reading, about 6 miles downstream, and at Streatley-on-Thames, about 5 miles upstream.
The Bridge is particularly important as a link between the rural areas north of the Thames and the shops, public transport and other services in Pangbourne.
Social Responsibility Statement
The Company's Corporate Social Responsibility Statement sets out the principles within which the Company operates.
Charity Bucket Collections
We often have a Charity Bucket by each Toll Booth window into which Bridge users can put loose change to support the local good cause as identified on the bucket. Recent Charity Bucket collections are as follows:
5th May 2015 Path Hill Outdoors Woodland Banquet. Their Thank You letter is here.
28th May 2015 CLIC Cancer Charity.
29th June 2015 Stoke Row Primary School. The Headteacher's Thank You letter is here.
7th September 2015 Whitchurch Primary School. The Parent Association's acknowledgement is here.
29th September 2015 World's Biggest Coffee Morning. £20 was collected for the Stables Room coffee morning on 29th September 2015.
29th October 2015 Headway Thames Valley. Acknowledgement is here.
7th December 2015 Reading Bikers Christmas Toy Run. £372.47 was collected.
19th December 2015 A one day collection by Pangbourne Rotary Club (with Father Christmas in attendance) raised a magnificent £801.36.
22nd January 2016 Whitchurch Pre-school. Acknowledgement is here.
9th March 2016 The CABIN Pre-School Woodcote. Acknowledgement is here.
15th July 2016 Whitchurch Pre-school. Acknowledgement is here.
4th November 2016 Hope for Tomorrow. Acknowledgement is here.
5th December 2016 Reading Bikers Toy Run. £200 was collected.
17th December 2016 A one day collection by Pangbourne Rotary Club (with Father Christmas in attendance) raised a magnificent £836.34
9th February 2017 St Mary's Whitchurch-on-Thames and St John's Whitchurch Hill £255 was collected.
9th March 2017 The CABIN Pre-School Woodcote. Acknowledgement is here.
25th April 2017 Goring Gap Boat Club. Acknowledgement is here.
30th May 2017 Thames Path Together Community Art Project, run by the Art Cafe. £280 was collected - acknowledgement is here.
10th July 2017 Tots on the Hill play and stay group. Acknowledgment is here.
11th August 2017 Woodcote Pre-School. Acknowledgment is here.
12th September 2017 Breast Walk Ever event. £115 collected. Acknowledgement coming soon.
We thank those Bridge users who kindly and generously give money to these local good causes.
Together Art Event April/May 2017
The Art Cafe in Whitchurch-on-Thames organised a highly succesful "Thames Path Together" Art Event on the Bridge in April/May 2017. There are some pictures in our Photo Gallery, and many more on the Whitchurch-on-Thames website. A BBC News item is here, and local producer Nick Brazil's video is here.
The Parkare Bridge Card system includes traffic counting loops under the at each side of the Toll Booth. The system counts and records traffic flows in each direction in 30 minute time slots.
Around 5,300 vehicles cross the Bridge during a typical working day (over 24 hours) in school term time. Annual traffic levels peaked in 2004 at about 2,100,000 crossings, and since then there has been a downward trend of 1 to 2 % per year. The reasons for this are not clear, but may reflect the fact that more people now work from home for at least part of the time. There are fewer crossing during school holidays, and local events such as the Reading Rock Festival, Woodcote Steam Rally and the Goring Heath Horse Trials generate extra traffic.
During weekday rush hours traffic queues often build up on the Bridge and its approaches because of congestion on the roads in Pangbourne and Whitchurch-on-Thames. The Company takes care to manage the Toll collection process so as to minimise delays to traffic at the Toll Booth - drivers can help by having their Bridge Card or the correct cash Toll ready, and if possible by paying for Bridge Card top-ups outside the rush hours.
There is an advisory 20mph speed limit over the Bridge and its approach roads.
About 50% of crossings are paid for using Bridge Cards (click here for details of Bridge Cards).
The Parkare Bridge Card system provides the Whitchurch Bridge Company with valuable management and internal control information including financial audit trails from the number of vehicle crossings to Toll receipts - by Bridge Card and by cash - and to cash banked.
There is an environmental weight limit of 7.5 tonnes mgw on the Bridge, as there is in Whitchurch-on-Thames. Drivers of vehicles which contravene this weight limit are liable to prosecution.
The local road network is unsuitable for heavy vehicles, with narrow roads and one-way sections in both Whitchurch and Pangbourne. The low (11ft headroom) railway bridge in Pangbourne normally prevents heavy vehicles from approaching the Bridge from the south. Toll collectors are instructed to inform drivers of high vehicles approaching from the north that they need to find an alternative route, but that they are allowed to cross the Bridge to turn by the Working Mens Club as this causes less disruption than reversing and turning in Whitchurch-on-Thames. We contact the Police to resolve any traffic congestion issues caused by large vehicles.