Thatcham level crossing changes hope to ease congestion

Level crossing
Image caption Reducing the time barriers remain closed in peak hours is viewed as an immediate priority

Changes to a Berkshire level crossing could reduce traffic and the amount of time barriers remain closed.

Network Rail and West Berkshire Council are working together on possible improvements to a crossing near Thatcham station.

Preventing trains "overhanging" the crossing - when they stop at the station and keep barriers down for longer - is a primary concern.

A new road layout proposal would also undergo a public consultation.

The potential improvements follow an independent survey carried out by consultants Stuart Michael Associates.

Changes to southbound traffic flows could include introducing a dedicated right turn lane for access to the Royal Mail's sorting office on Station Road.

Councillor Keith Chopping, West Berkshire's Council's highways cabinet member, said: "All the options have been carefully studied and considered.

"The overhanging work and dedicated right turn are the most immediate, practical and affordable solutions."

The consultants' report added replacing the level crossing with a bridge over the railway line is likely to be out of the question at this time.

A public consultation will formally begin early next year.

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