The Government has approved the building of a bridge to enable riders, walkers and cyclists to cross the busy A34/M4 junction at Chieveley in Berkshire. The decision has come twelve years after BHS Bridleways Officer Penny Reid first put forward the case for a safe crossing of the A34 to the rights of way networks in the area.
Penny has seen the traffic on the A34 increase steadily over the years. Riders used to be able to cross the road, but when the A34 became a dual carriageway it became impossible, and the two rights of way became truncated. To the north of the junction lies the Ridgeway Downs and to the South is Snelsmore Common, and the area contains some important equestrian routes.
Between the first hearing in 1992 and this one ten years later, Penny had succeeded in planning and getting put on the Ordnance Survey Explorer tourist map two riding routes that were named and routed. These provided evidence to the Inspector that there were tourist recreational routes that could and should be reached via the bisected byway across the A34.
Congratulations are due to Penny Reid CABO for Berkshire and her fellow BHS member Dr Janice Bridger, who prepared a very able case for the Public Inquiry. The Inspector quoted almost verbatim from her paper when he put the case for riders. The BHS was supported by the Ramblers and West Berkshire Highways Authority.
Penny Reid said "We
are delighted that ten years worth of work has had such a successful outcome.
Janice and I feel that this must encourage everyone who cares about their
rights of way to have a go since this precedent has now been set."