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You are here:    Forum - Issues & Concerns - Third Reading Bridge: Comments please

Third Reading Bridge: Comments please

Berkshire councils are developing proposals to build a bridge over Caversham rowing lake to connect the Reading Inner Distribution Road (IDR) and M4 (via the A329M) to the A4155 opposite Caversham Park Road. A Berkshire spokesman recently said this could be done within five years. My concerns relate to the thousands of cars and lorries that will pour off the bridge daily with nowhere to go but the A4155 or the B481 and Reading's traffic problems will be moved into Oxfordshire. What do you think?

Posted by: Cllr David Bartholomew | 09/10/2017 12:03 pm

I fully agree with Cllr Bartholomew's concerns including the consequences of people changing behaviours as a result of a bridge being built. It seems inevitable that urban Reading would spread into rural South Oxfordshire.

Posted by: Ken Hydon | 18/10/2017 5:25 pm


There would be undoubted benefits of being able to cross the bridge and get on to the M4 without having to go through Reading. The BIG problem is that this would also apply in reverse, including for HGVs.

And with the ever-increasing presence of sat navs with Real-Time Traffic Information, no prizes for guessing where M4 traffic bound for the M40 or Oxford would go if the A404 or A34 were blocked through an incident.

Posted by: Cllr David Bartholomew | 10/10/2017 8:44 am


Oxfordshire is being 'consulted', but the initiative comes from Berkshire and the process is being driven by them.

Traffic modelling has been done, but the huge unknowns are 'behaviour change' and the ever-increasing impact of sat navs with 'real-time' traffic information.

Posted by: Cllr David Bartholomew | 10/10/2017 8:38 am

It seems strange that Berkshire can plan for this without apparently involving Oxfordshire. The main problem would be HGVs, coaches, and similar large vehicles. Someone needs to do some modelling of the number of these vehicles that would use the new bridge and where they are heading. My concern is obviously the impact on the A4155 between Playhatch and Henley. Will this affect OCC's attitude to road safety issues and planning for Shiplake?

Posted by: Ian Boulton | 09/10/2017 9:46 pm

I fully agree with Cllr Bartholomew's concerns. "How people's behaviour will change" is THE massively important issue. It may be difficult to predict, but we must demand that best efforts are made to do so. If the new bridge were built, I would be likely to use it between Shiplake and the M4 to go West, simply to avoid Reading. Surely MANY HGVs (e.g.Oxford to Farnborough, or High Wycombe to Basingstoke) would similarly divert to the A4155 because of new GPS guidance.

Posted by: Max McKean | 09/10/2017 2:52 pm


At present, the bridge is a stand-alone proposal. There are no plans to upgrade the A4074 and B481, and no plans for a bypass or bridge beyond Temple Island.

Posted by: Cllr David Bartholomew | 09/10/2017 1:16 pm


A traffic modelling survey has been done which indicates a minor reduction on Henley bridge and an increase in traffic on the B481. The survey, however, not take into account how people's behaviour will change when there is a new bridge.

If you are right and lorries divert to the new bridge, this will present major problems for the villages along the B481 (Sonning Common, Rotherfield Peppard, Highmoor, Nettlebed).

Posted by: Cllr David Bartholomew | 09/10/2017 1:13 pm

It would be useful to do a survey to find how much traffic would divert from Henley Bridge and Sonning Bridge to a new one then we would have an indication of the net increase in traffic using the new one. Personally I believe it is the right place to have a new bridge and if a weight limit was put on Henley Bridge more heavy vehicles would divert to the new bridge and on to Oxford.

Posted by: Barrie Jones | 09/10/2017 12:56 pm

It probably wont make too much difference as the congestion on the Sonning Bridge will just move to the new bridge. Those who already use this route will still do so. Most of the traffic from Sonning seems to turn left at Play Hatch. Anyone going to Oxford would go north to Wallingford so there would be a need to improve the A4074 and the B481. What is needed is a bypass for Henley and a bridge down stream beyond Temple Island.

Posted by: Edward P Harding | 09/10/2017 12:37 pm

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