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> Boundary bridge closure
Exhausted
post Jan 30 2015, 09:15 PM
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It seems that Boundary Road will be closed to traffic for eighteen to twentyfour months when the railway bridge is being replaced, starting some time later this year. There will be a temporary footbridge but no vehicle access.

When the bridge was closed for a couple of weeks a few months ago, the repercussions on traffic flow then was pretty grim. I wonder if WBC highways will be able to give us any relief and have a master plan.


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Andy Capp
post Jan 30 2015, 09:38 PM
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As if they give a sh..
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JeffG
post Jan 31 2015, 10:30 AM
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I use it myself, but apart from residents, it's really only a rat run. There are other routes.
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Biker1
post Jan 31 2015, 10:38 AM
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You'd think that maybe they could open the Racecourse bridge for the duration?
Is it privately owned?
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On the edge
post Jan 31 2015, 11:24 AM
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I love the term 'rat run'. Are all those people trying to get to work / business / patients all rats? Trouble is, the calendar at WBC has stuck on 1950. I'd love to see some of our more voiciferous councillors try to exist round here, ideally in the outer suburbs with young kids and a standard 9-5 job where there is no subsidised parking. Can't do everything on a bike.

As for planning? Remember the big house to house survey they did in South Newbury, not too long ago, at great expense? Oh, yes, some pre printed postcards to hand out to bus drivers asking them to do their job!!

Yes, Biker, the answer is pretty obvious, but then what's the point, it's only for us rats
and we don't count.


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Exhausted
post Jan 31 2015, 12:31 PM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Jan 31 2015, 10:30 AM) *
I use it myself, but apart from residents, it's really only a rat run. There are other routes.


'Rat Run' has got to be one of the more tiresome titles used when discussing routes that drivers take to get to work. If we had reasonably open and direct routes which flowed then the drivers trying to get from A to B to arrive on time wouldn't need to navigate through the back streets. Getting to work on time has to be foremost in one's mind and if a driver can find a regular way through using legitimate roads and streets then that's his/her entitlement. The judgement is can I keep moving at a reasonable pace rather than sitting in a queue of vehicles, engines running and crawling along at less than walking pace.?

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Biker1
post Feb 1 2015, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE (Exhausted @ Jan 31 2015, 02:31 PM) *
Getting to work on time has to be foremost in one's mind and if a driver can find a regular way through using legitimate roads and streets then that's his/her entitlement.

Apparently not.
Paul Walter who lives (ed) in Stanley Road led a vociferous campaign some years ago using the local media to highlighting the use of his road as a "rat run".
The result was that the one way system around that area was revised to stop through traffic from using Stanley or Railway Road.
I'm sure the residents of Boundary Road would like to do the same.
Has anyone seen the design of the new bridge?
Will it be wider in order to accommodate more traffic, or will it still be of restrictive width, thus continuing the current congestion? (A sort of replay of the Parkway Bridge saga where an opportunity to improve things was lost! wacko.gif )
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JeffG
post Feb 1 2015, 11:13 AM
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I can't imagine that Railtrack (or whoever it is these days) would replace it with a single lane bridge. This isn't WBC, after all.
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Andy Capp
post Feb 1 2015, 11:50 AM
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It would require buying land. A previous land owner, Mr Ainsworth, was a blocker but he is no-longer with us. I wonder if the bridge will be higher as it is already too tall to see over comfortably.
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JeffG
post Feb 1 2015, 05:25 PM
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Isn't the rebuild required because it needs to be higher to accommodate the wires?
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Biker1
post Feb 1 2015, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Feb 1 2015, 07:25 PM) *
Isn't the rebuild required because it needs to be higher to accommodate the wires?

That's correct.
Doesn't need to be that much higher though. One of the reasons that these bridges have to be replaced is that they are metal which doesn't mix too well with 25KV in close proximity!
They are normally replaced with a concrete structure.
On the plus side is that the footbridge at Newbury station is also to be replaced for the same reason, complete with lifts!!
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Andy Capp
post Feb 1 2015, 05:56 PM
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Being higher means having more clearance, but that doesn't men the surface has to be higher, but like I said, it is already too high.
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On the edge
post Feb 1 2015, 08:59 PM
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Some real forward thinking and co-ordination between infrastructure providers going on here isn't there...

It's just that we don't do bridges in West Berkshire; Parkway, Bartholomew Street, Thatcham level crossing. now this one. All too hard to do properly or competently.


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spartacus
post Feb 1 2015, 09:19 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Feb 1 2015, 10:38 AM) *
Has anyone seen the design of the new bridge?
Will it be wider in order to accommodate more traffic, or will it still be of restrictive width, thus continuing the current congestion? (A sort of replay of the Parkway Bridge saga where an opportunity to improve things was lost! wacko.gif )

I expected better from you Biker1... trying to make out that the bridge replacement would be determined by the local council and that it's another stupid decision by them... rolleyes.gif it's not something that a local authority can influence greatly and WBC couldn't support the additional costs that would be needed for a wider bridge of this span and age.. especially when the existing structure is balanced precariously on crumbling earthworks and brickworks - which is the reason for the 3t weight limit (the current iron contraption would probably groan quite a bit if two Land Rover Discoveries were to try crossing at the same time, seeing as they can weigh in at 3.2t each...) Could be interesting if there was to be a bridge collapse with a couple of Chelsea Tractors and their yummy mummies tumbling onto the tracks...

You know full well that it's a NR decision and in this location they will only replace 'like for like'. Their definition of 'like for like' will be a bridge that still allows road traffic to cross their lines in the same way. It will be an 'improved bridge' in that it will be better able to accommodate their rail infrastructure and new power cabling and it will be higher to allow their traffic to keep on trundling underneath unhindered..

You're Mr Network Rail on this forum so should know that it's a NR project and much like the whole 'Thatcham level crossing saga' they have no reason to provide a wider bridge.

By 'wider bridge' everyone means a two way bridge. Twice the size then, so a significant increase in cost. A bigger project. A longer project. A project with engineering challenges that don't need to be considered if it's just a like for like single width bridge.

A wider bridge would require additional widening of bridge supports, would require significant engineering and strengthening of ancient embankments and would require land purchase to make it two way on both approaches.

A wider bridge, with the additional necessary engineering, would extend the length of time this bridge replacement project will take. That would impact on their network and timetables.

Why would NR voluntarily take on additional costs in order to improve the lot of people that aren't even their customers?


The fact that traffic is held up for a bit going across it is not their concern as it only affects car users....
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JeffG
post Feb 2 2015, 09:01 AM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Feb 1 2015, 08:59 PM) *
Some real forward thinking and co-ordination between infrastructure providers going on here isn't there...

It's just that we don't do bridges in West Berkshire; Parkway, Bartholomew Street, Thatcham level crossing. now this one. All too hard to do properly or competently.

What's wrong with the Bartholomew Street bridge? As long as you have a rope and grappling hook it's fine.
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On the edge
post Feb 2 2015, 11:07 AM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Feb 2 2015, 09:01 AM) *
What's wrong with the Bartholomew Street bridge? As long as you have a rope and grappling hook it's fine.


Exactly! The usual 's**d the public' design, they are just paying for it.


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motormad
post Feb 2 2015, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE (spartacus @ Feb 1 2015, 09:19 PM) *
Why would NR voluntarily take on additional costs in order to improve the lot of people that aren't even their customers?


The fact that traffic is held up for a bit going across it is not their concern as it only affects car users....



Because they should have a duty to their area.


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Exhausted
post Feb 2 2015, 05:06 PM
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Fairly sure that Network Rail will be replacing like for like. When the high level Bart Street bridge was replaced it was a traffic black spot until WBC added the Pound Street traffic lights. The southbound vehicle vision was badly impaired due to the added height putting the mums and kids crossing the road at risk. Somehow, I doubt the railway company funded that. The design for pedestrians walking over the bridge is dreadful and I wonder where our council was when it was installed.
The owner of the Sterling Estate did offer some of the land alongside Boundary Road for improvement to the road width within his development application but not sure where that got to but there isn't. as far as I know, any council money available to put into a bridge widening scheme. What makes the whole Boundary Rd thing a problem waiting to happen is that within the application for the houses on the racecourse estate WBC should have insisted on an Eastern relief road between Racecourse Road and the Hambridge Lane roundabout. As it is, it is to be bollarded half way to prevent it being used as a through route. So Boundary Road will continue to be required even if the Scats to Kings road new road happens.
Be interesting to know what WBC will do for us. They may, once we've got used to it being closed, keep it that way as of course, they did with Marsh Lane and the Parkway bridge.
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spartacus
post Feb 2 2015, 07:42 PM
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QUOTE (motormad @ Feb 2 2015, 03:18 PM) *
Because they should have a duty to their area.

....well I guess Network Rail's area is national, so good luck with getting them to zero in on our patch...
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Biker1
post Feb 2 2015, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE (spartacus @ Feb 1 2015, 11:19 PM) *
I expected better from you Biker1... trying to make out that the bridge replacement would be determined by the local council and that it's another stupid decision by them... rolleyes.gif it's not something that a local authority can influence greatly and WBC couldn't support the additional costs that would be needed for a wider bridge of this span and age.. especially when the existing structure is balanced precariously on crumbling earthworks and brickworks - which is the reason for the 3t weight limit (the current iron contraption would probably groan quite a bit if two Land Rover Discoveries were to try crossing at the same time, seeing as they can weigh in at 3.2t each...) Could be interesting if there was to be a bridge collapse with a couple of Chelsea Tractors and their yummy mummies tumbling onto the tracks...

You know full well that it's a NR decision and in this location they will only replace 'like for like'. Their definition of 'like for like' will be a bridge that still allows road traffic to cross their lines in the same way. It will be an 'improved bridge' in that it will be better able to accommodate their rail infrastructure and new power cabling and it will be higher to allow their traffic to keep on trundling underneath unhindered..

You're Mr Network Rail on this forum so should know that it's a NR project and much like the whole 'Thatcham level crossing saga' they have no reason to provide a wider bridge.

By 'wider bridge' everyone means a two way bridge. Twice the size then, so a significant increase in cost. A bigger project. A longer project. A project with engineering challenges that don't need to be considered if it's just a like for like single width bridge.

A wider bridge would require additional widening of bridge supports, would require significant engineering and strengthening of ancient embankments and would require land purchase to make it two way on both approaches.

A wider bridge, with the additional necessary engineering, would extend the length of time this bridge replacement project will take. That would impact on their network and timetables.

Why would NR voluntarily take on additional costs in order to improve the lot of people that aren't even their customers?


The fact that traffic is held up for a bit going across it is not their concern as it only affects car users....

Wow!
I consider myself truly bollocked admonished!
"Mr. Network Rail"? I don't think so.
I know NR have no interest in making the bridge any wider but I just wondered if our local authority may grasp the chance to work with NR to jointly make the improvement?
The chance will not re-occur for some time!
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