Ashridge Interchange  

The Ship Inn from London Road, with Peach Street to the left

Market Place and Broad Street from Cockpit PathShute End looking northwards, with The Terrace on the right

   "The Ashridge Interchange Movement ('AIM') is a non-party organisation that exists to promote the
   best possible traffic solution for Wokingham for the least overall environmental impact."

                News Items

Office of Rail Regulation report on level crossings



Letter to Wokingham Times, published on 26th November 2008:

Dear Sir,
The plan to run two Airtrack trains per hour between Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell and Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is to be welcomed. However, I disagree with the conclusion printed in the Airtrack Consultation Document that it is not feasible or justifiable to replace the Barkham Road level crossing with a bridge. The report states that this crossing already experiences congestion, and that it will be significantly affected by the decrease in the time the barriers are open. All the more reason, surely, to explore alternatives?
Network Rail is already planning to lengthen the platforms at Wokingham to accommodate 12-coach trains. It has also published a document on level crossing policy, stating that Network Rail is "committed to reducing the risk at level crossings where reasonably practicable". NR says that it seeks "to close and/or divert crossings or enhance their safety through the provision of improved safety features/equipment".
The Barkham Road crossing will experience both an increase in the number of trains from Airtrack and an increase from the 3,500 houses planned to be built on Arborfield Garrison. This is trying to fit a quart into a pint pot.
There is a viable alternative to the level crossing – a bridge to the north of the station from Oxford Road, emerging at Reading Road on land already owned by the Council. This will allow the station platforms to be extended further southwards, closer to the town centre. The historic footbridge can be re-sited to eliminate the dangerous footpath across the electrified railway from Wellington Road.
Let’s grab this opportunity to eliminate the risk of pedestrian and car accidents, to reduce delays and conflicts at Wellington Road and to get Wokingham’s traffic moving more smoothly. You can download all of the Airtrack and Network Rail documents from the Internet. The deadline for the Airtrack consultation is 15th December. Please make your voice heard!
Yours faithfully,

Steve Bacon
45 Melrose Gardens
RG2 9PY.

(Click on the links for the Airtrack Consultation Document and the Heathrow Airtrack site itself)

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