• Donnington Grove

Improvements for A4 cycle route

More improvements for A4 cycle route

A project to improve the cycle and pedestrian facilities between Newbury and Thatcham is well under way. 

Route NCN 422 forms part of the Newbury Vision (www.westberks.gov.uk.newburyvision) and the recent consultation on Phase Two of the project included the following proposals for the A4 through Thatcham:

  • Introducing cycle lanes along the carriageway;
  • New parking restrictions to prevent vehicles blocking the cycle lanes and to create safe space for cycling;
  • Removing, or reducing the width/length of central hatching and right hand turn lanes where appropriate;
  • Removing traffic island ‘pinch points’ where necessary to create the space for the on-carriage cycle lanes;
  • Improving pedestrian crossing facilities.

The results from the Phase Two consultation and detailed drawings can be found here: http://info.westberks.gov.uk/a4cycleimprovements

Work on Phase One started in October 2017 and new cycle lanes on Benham Hill and a shared footway have now been completed. Benham Hill has among the highest number of cyclists in rush hour peak across the entire district, even though before this project started the footway was less than 1.5m wide in places and had no provision for cyclists. This project will put this right.

Surveys of cyclist behaviour told us the safest way to make the route more cycle-friendly was to create cycle lanes on the carriageway for experienced cyclists and provide a shared footway that slower less confident cyclists can share, with care, alongside pedestrians, and that is what has been achieved at this location.

West Berkshire Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Jeanette Clifford, said: “I am very pleased that Phase One of this exciting project is well underway. The Phase Two consultation produced some interesting ideas from members of the public for our engineering team to call upon as they complete the final design. The goal is to benefit everyone, whether they travel by cycle, on foot, car or bus, or just live in the vicinity. This safer, better route will make the ‘green choice’ of travel by foot or cycle more attractive to more people – and that’s good for us all.”

Steve Ardagh-Walter, Cycling Champion for West Berkshire and ward member for Thatcham West, said:  “I’m very supportive of the scheme for several reasons: it will encourage more travel by cycle, with the associated benefits of improved health and wellbeing for cyclists. It will improve safety for cyclists (both the more- and the less-confident).  It will also reduce traffic congestion and pollution by displacing some travel from car to bicycle.”

West Berkshire Council, along with other unitary authorities in Berkshire, submitted a bid for funding to the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership to improve cycling and pedestrian facilities for commuters between Newbury and Windsor.

The bid was successful and West Berkshire Council received £1.1million to deliver its part of the project. Work began on Phase One between Newbury and Thatcham earlier this year. The work will continue a rolling programme on towards Calcot, on the outskirts of Reading for Phase Three to be delivered in 2019. 

The report and detailed maps for the scheme can be found here:

More information about cycling in West Berkshire, and maps …