Thatcham, United Kingdom: Road layout change to ease congestion?

17 Jul

Thatcham level crossing at a quiet time - Source Google Earth

Thatcham level crossing at a quiet time – Source Google Earth

The decision of West Berkshire Council decision to reject a grade-separated solution to the
inordinate delays at Thatcham’s level crossing has set the cat among the pigeons because the highway improvements they are to press ahead with are seen by many as a wholly inadequate solution. In particular, the Liberal Democrat opposition has championed the road-over-rail bridge but now believes that any challenge of the majority Conservative groups decision will not achieve anything as minds are incapable of being changed.

The very limited changes include reducing the size of the lay-by in Station Road to provide extra carriageway space and creating a new right-turn lane into the Royal Mail sorting office. Including spend to date, these changes are expected to cost in the region of GBP 0.085 million. Indeed, these changes are so much less costly than the grade-separated route to eliminating the level crossings and are, in reality, the expected response of a cash-strapped local administration.

Sceptics abound with the planned works expected by them to do nothing to address the underlying issue that the highway layout and volume of traffic are incompatible with a busy railway and extended crossing closure to road traffic at peak times.

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