Statement By The Whitchurch Bridge Company

The Reconstruction of Whitchurch Bridge
The Whitchurch Bridge Company is pleased to announce that it is to postpone the start of
the reconstruction of Whitchurch Bridge from October 2011 to October 2012. This has been
made possible by the success of last year’s work in stabilising the deteriorating condition of
the pier capitals. The Company’s professional advisers at Oxfordshire County Council have
now recommended that, subject to the continued monitoring of the pier capitals, the Bridge
can remain open until October 2012. This will give valuable additional time for detailed
planning and contractor mobilisation and help ensure that the reconstruction work proceeds

The reconstruction of the Bridge is subject to Planning permission, and a Planning
Application will be submitted as soon as possible. The work is expected to start in October
2012 and be completed in April 2013. During this time the Bridge will be closed. The
Company intends to provide a temporary footbridge to maintain a pedestrian link between
Whitchurch and Pangbourne, and to provide a diversionary route for the utilities that use the

Company Chairman Mike Beckley says “Safety is our top priority. Whilst we are pleased that
there has been no further deterioration in the condition of the pier capitals, the Bridge’s
underlying structural weaknesses remain. We need to reconstruct the Bridge next year to
ensure that the Company can continue to meet its legal obligation to provide a safe and
reliable crossing over the Thames between Pangbourne and Whitchurch-on-Thames for the
next 100 years”.

Further Information
1. The Whitchurch Bridge Company is the commonly-used name for The Company of Proprietors
of Whitchurch Bridge, which was established by the Whitchurch Bridge Acts of 1792 and 1988.
2. The current Bridge was built in 1902, and is now 109 years old. It is subject to regular
inspections by specialist contractors, supervised by the Company’s professional advisers at
Oxfordshire County Council, to monitor its condition.
3. The pier capitals are the inverted cone-shaped elements – 6 in number – supporting the lattice
girders on top of the pier columns which support the Bridge from the river bed. Because of their
poor condition they are currently subject to special inspection at 3 monthly intervals.
4. The Bridge is used by about 2 million vehicles per year, or about 6,000 vehicles per weekday.
5. Planning Permission for the reconstruction will be required from South Oxfordshire District
Council and West Berkshire Council. The works are also subject to approval by the
Environment Agency.
6. More details about the Company are on its website at
7. For further information please contact the Company Secretary

Geoff Weir
Company Secretary
0118 984 4172

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