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 5th October 2017)
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, the speed limit signage improved and automatic "20 mph - Slow Down" signage installed.
Option D - the "path through the trees" - initially looked attractive but we have had to rule it out for various reasons including cost, maintenance and access issues, planning risks, pedestrian personal safety and arboricultural concerns.
We have asked PBA to seek pre-application planning advice from West Berkshire Council and we will decide how to proceed when that work has been completed. We will continue to engage with our neighbouring landowners, Pangbourne Parish Council and Pangbourne Medical Practice, both of whom have kindly agreed in principle to site investigations and the proposed works on their property.