About the Current Bridge
The Reconstruction of Whitchurch Bridge - information is on a separate page
Whitchurch Bridge carries the B471 over the River Thames between Pangbourne in West Berkshire, and Whitchurch-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. It lies within the civil parish of Whitchurch-on-Thames, which in turn lies within the district of South Oxfordshire and the county of Oxfordshire.
Whitchurch Bridge lies within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Whitchurch-on-Thames Conservation Area, and is a Grade II listed structure for planning purposes. The local Planning authority is South Oxfordshire District Council.
The Bridge is subject to an environmental weight limit of 7.5 tonnes mgw, as is the B471 through Whitchurch-on-Thames. Access to the Bridge is restricted by a low railway over-Bridge (11 feet headroom) on the Pangbourne (south) approach, and limited road widths and a steep hill in Whitchurch-on-Thames.
Pangbourne Approach Road (updated 4th April 2018)
We asked our engineering consultants Peter Brett Associates (PBA) to identify options for widening the Pangbourne approach road. Their Report proposed various options and we later asked them to evaluate a further option - a "path through the trees" - suggested by a local resident. That Addendum Report is here. All the options are constrained by the trees, topography and other features of the local area.
After careful consideration we have decided on PBA's option C2
as our preferred option. This would widen the narrowest part of the road from 4.7m to 5.2 m -
the same width as the road on the Bridge - and widen about 20m of the footway from 1m to 1.5m. The railings and kerbside rumble strip
would be replaced, the roadway and footway
resurfaced, and the speed limit signage improved. Es
Estimated costs for option C2 are higher than expected and we will be looking at ways to reduce these, as on present estimates we could not afford to do the works before 2020.
PBA have had discussions with West Berkshire Council (WBC) and we have
received WBC's formal Pre-application Advice. WBC conclude that:
PBA have had discussions with West Berkshire Council (WBC) and we have received WBC's formal Pre-application Advice. WBC conclude that:
"The works are proposed in order to bring about benefits in terms of highway
safety and these will need to be supported by sound justification. It is
clear that there may be a conflict between preserving the setting of the
listed building and the visual impact of the works in terms of the loss of
trees and the interests of improving highway safety. Therefore I am unable
to indicate the likelihood of success for an application for these works,
but would encourage you to consider any possibilities for limiting the works
to trees, instating additional landscaping and any other measures for
minimising the visual impacts of the works. "
Because of the costs and Planning risks associated
with option C2 it may be some time before we are ready to proceed. We have
therefore decided to proceed immediately with
a traffic calming scheme which will join up with the Pangbourne 20 mph zone
to give a clear and continuous 20mph speed limit from the Toll Booth, over
the Bridge and along Whitchurch Road into Pangbourne.
We expect the scheme to include new 20 mph signs at the Toll Booth, a
tidying up of the signage at the boundary of the Pangbourne 20 mph zone
outside the Boathouse Surgery, proactive "Slow Down" signs, and the
reinstatement of the roadway rumble strip alongside the Pangbourne approach
road footway kerb. PBA are in discussions with West Berkshire
Council on the details and we hope to complete the works by autumn 2018.
PBA are in discussions with West Berkshire Council on the details and we hope to complete the works by autumn 2018.