Whitchurch Bridge as seen from Pangbourne Meadow
|Height||13 feet 7 inches (4.14 m)|
|Toll||40p for cars
£3 for vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes
Whitchurch Bridge is a toll road bridge over the River Thames in England. It carries the road between the villages of Pangbourne, Berkshire, and Whitchurch-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, and crosses the river on the reach above Mapledurham Lock, just before Whitchurch Lock. The bridge has a weight limit of 7.5 tonnes.
Whitchurch Bridge is one of two remaining private toll bridges across the River Thames (the other being Swinford Toll Bridge), being owned and maintained by The Company of Proprietors of Whitchurch Bridge entirely from toll receipts. Tolls currently range from 40p for cars to £3 for vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes.
In November 2008 the bridge company announced an application to the Department for Transport to double the toll for cars to 40p which met with local opposition. A public inquiry was held in June 2009 and the toll increase was approved in October 2009; the new toll came into force on 26 October 2009.
The Thames Path crosses the river on this bridge, but there is no charge for pedestrians or cyclists.
There has been a bridge on the site since 1792. The structure was renewed in 1852 and again in 1902. The original charges were a halfpenny each for pedestrians, sheep, boars and pigs, and two pence for each and every wheel of a carriage.
Recently the bridge was closed to vehicles for nearly a year. Between October 2013 and September 2014 a complete reconstruction was carried out, providing new and stronger piling and steel spans. The white lattice iron girders of the 1902 structure were refurbished and incorporated in the design. The contractor was Balfour Beatty, the designer Atkins and the project manager Oxfordshire County Council. The project was delayed for several months by exceptional flood flows in the Thames but the new bridge was formally opened on 19th September 2014. A 1902 De Dion-Bouton was driven across, carrying Bridge Company directors and a descendant of one of the original bridge promoters of 1792.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Whitchurch Bridge.|
- Whitchurch Bridge web page from Whitchurch-on-Thames village web site
- The Company of Proprietors of Whitchurch Bridge website
- Independent Archive of Official Whitchurch Bridge Documents and Accounts
|Next crossing upstream||River Thames||Next crossing downstream|
|Gatehampton Railway Bridge (railway)||Whitchurch Bridge
Grid reference: SU636768
|Reading Festival Bridge (intermittently present)
Caversham Bridge (road)
|Next crossing upstream||Thames Path||Next crossing downstream|
Goring and Streatley Bridge
|Whitchurch Bridge||southern bank