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Find out about Ash Road Bridge

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Project description

The Ash Road Bridge scheme is an important infrastructure project. It is part of the Council's Local Plan (Policy A31). It will enable housing that has been allocated in the Local Plan to come forward. The scheme will close Ash level crossing. The closure will improve safety for local residents and users of Ash train station. It will also reduce traffic congestion in the area.

The scheme will encourage traffic off of rural roads. Traffic currently use rural roads to avoid the level crossing. It will remove the safety hazard posed by the present level crossing. Network Rail consider the level crossing as a medium-high risk. There have been some recorded incidents of misuse by vehicles and pedestrians.

The scheme will end the existing traffic congestion hotspot. The level crossing causes delays to vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The level crossing closes around eight times an hour or 150 times a day. This currently amounts to closure periods of up to 25 minutes per hour. Delays are likely to increase with the planned enhancement of passenger train services. The Gatwick to Reading route enhancements are already underway.

The scheme is still subject to final detailed design. It will include:

  • the construction of a new road bridge over the railway line south of Ash Station
  • a pedestrian footbridge with disabled access

The level crossing will be closed to vehicle traffic when the road bridge opens. Pedestrians can use the level crossing until the footbridge has been completed. The level crossing will then be closed to all traffic, including pedestrians.

Benefits

  • delivers an infrastructure need in the Local Plan. Enables housing to be delivered
  • improves safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Removing the hazard posed by the present level crossing
  • removes delays for the local community by easing traffic congestion
  • helps reduce traffic cutting through residential and rural roads to avoid the level crossing
  • alleviates increased traffic from committed housing developments in Ash and Tongham

Timeline

  • January 2021: Approval of Planning Application for the Road Bridge
  • February 2021: Commencement of the Road Bridge Detailed Design and Site Surveys
  • Winter 2021/2022: Road Bridge construction due to start
  • Spring/Summer 2024: Ash Road Bridge due to open and Ash Level Crossing will be closed to motor vehicles

Footbridge

A planning application for a footbridge next to Ash Station is currently in progress. As part of this process, consultation events will be held.

The delivery of the footbridge and road bridge will enable the closure of the Ash level crossing. The footbridge and full closure of the level crossing can only happen once the road bridge is constructed. This is to divert motor vehicles away from the Ash level crossing.