Barkham Bridge, Smoother Journeys
The widening of Barkham Bridge is already improving journeys for residents and commuters in the area. Wokingham Borough Council and its partner Balfour Beatty completed the project earlier this year, which replaced the old narrow bridge with a two-lane bridge over the brook on Barkham Road.
Before the changes between Barkham Street and Langley Common Road, a bottleneck existed at the old bridge but this has been removed and journeys are now smoother. The roads around the bridge have been realigned as part of the project, while there have also been improvements to drainage along Barkham Road up to the School Lane junction.
Old Bridge Converted
The old bridge has been converted into a shared footway/cycleway for pedestrians and cyclists to use for their journeys in the area. This links up with existing footways at either end of the project. The area around the bridge and the new road have also seen significant planting and landscaping. These improvements have been made to support new housing developments in the area, particularly in Arborfield.
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, said: “Improvements at Barkham Bridge are proving a major benefit to anyone driving in the area. Removal of the bottleneck with the new bridge means traffic flows smoothly and helps to keep drivers moving on our roads. The benefits aren’t just to those in vehicles on the road and it’s been fantastic to see the new shared path for cyclists and pedestrians is being put to use by those travelling in the local area.”
The project is part of the council’s Major New Roads programme, the cornerstone to new infrastructure across the borough, alongside new housing. The new bridge and road changes are part of the project which will see an investment of more than £100million across the borough, including the already opened Winnersh Relief Road and Observer Way (Arborfield Cross Relief Road).
Barkham Bridge Funding
The Barkham Bridge project has been funded through developer contributions and with support from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The partnership has contributed about £4.2million towards it.
Bob Beveridge, chair of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, said: “We are delighted to see the completion of the new Barkham bridge, which has been supported by the LEP’s Local Growth Fund. The new bridge has removed a bottleneck on an increasingly important route between Shinfield and Wokingham, improved traffic flow for buses and created safer journeys for cyclists.”