Berkshire

Reading Thames bridge for pedestrians and cyclists opens

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Media captionReading council has released time-lapse footage of the bridge being built

A £5.9m bridge for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the River Thames has opened.

Work started on the bridge in October to give dedicated access for users between Caversham and Reading Station and the town centre.

The 400ft (120m) bridge was originally scheduled for completion in July.

Reading Borough Council paid for it using £20.7m from a Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), also used for a cycle hire scheme and a park and ride.


Bridge facts

  • More than 455 tonnes of steel used
  • A 68m (223ft) river span weighing approximately 200 tonnes and supported by 14 pairs of cables
  • A 50-tonne mast sitting 39m (128ft) above river level
  • 234 LED lights, 39 of which are colour changing, along the walkway

Image caption The bridge was opened by Reading's mayor Sarah Hacker

The bridge has met with a mixed reaction from some parties.

Reading Cycling Campaign welcomed it but objected to the design, calling for segregated lanes for cyclists and pedestrians.

The group said it hoped that so many cyclists would use it that it would "dissuade pedestrians" and "become a cyclists' bridge".

The local authority is also asking people to send in name suggestions for the new structure.

Those put forward so far include, De Montfort Bridge, Essex Bridge, Cusden Bridge, de Bohun Bridge, Meadows Bridge, Christchurch Bridge, Fry's Bridge and Riverside Bridge.

Image caption The mast of the bridge was imported from The Netherlands
Image caption The bridge has met with a mixed response

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