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Work on Reading Bridge to begin next month

Work to strengthen Reading Bridge will begin in November Credit: ITV Meridian

Work to strengthen Reading Bridge starts in two week's time. More than 350 lorry loads of expanding foam concrete will be pumped into the bridge to fortify the 92 year old structure. During the improvement works, road users are advised to leave extra time for their journeys due to traffic building up around the Caversham Bridge.

“The many thousands of tonnes of foam concrete being pumped into voids under Reading Bridge and the use of carbon fibre polymer reinforcement materials make this a major feat of innovative engineering and a challenge for the Council in carrying out these essential works whilst the bridge remains open for the vast majority of the time. We are of course fully aware of the disruption any lane closure will cause to people, but we cannot escape the fact that Reading Bridge is almost 100 years old and now in need of essential strengthening and waterproofing. Reading Borough Council successfully bid for Government funding to carry out this essential work and the limitations on using that funding within a set time period means we have no choice but to carry out that work now. We know from recent experience the significant strain that full closures of Sonning Bridge and Whitchurch Bridge can cause to Reading’s road network. Reading Bridge carries an estimated 24,000 vehicles a day, while Caversham Bridge carries 35,000. That is why we are keeping Reading Bridge open during the first phase of this project, but there is no doubt that even off peak lane closures will cause delays. Advance notices are in place, we are publicising the lane closures widely in advance of the work starting and we would ask motorists and all regular users of Reading Bridge to allow for some disruption to their journeys.”

– Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport

Work to start on strengthening Reading Bridge

Work to strengthen Reading Bridge starts in two weeks. More than 350 lorry loads of expanding foam concrete will be pumped into the bridge to fortify the 92-year-old structure.

Reading Bridge to be strengthened

During the improvement works, road users are advised to leave extra time for their journeys due to traffic building up around the Caversham Bridge.

One lane of Reading Bridge will be closed off-peak on weekdays between the hours of 9am and 4pm from Monday November 10th to Friday December 5th. At present the Council hopes to avoid the use of temporary traffic lights and maintaining two-way traffic at all times, although delays are anticipated as a result of the single lane closure.

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Plans submitted for King's Meadow Baths revamp

Listed Building Consent has been granted for repairs to King's Meadow Baths which will be carried out before major construction works get underway.

King's Meadow Baths

Plans for the redevelopment of the baths have now been submitted to Reading Borough Council.

Proposals include restoration of the existing building, construction of a new pool, a spa, treatment rooms, bar and restaurant.

A detailed application is now open to public consultation before going to a future meeting of the council's planning committee.

Investigation into unexplained death in Reading

Thames Valley Police is investigating an unexplained death in Reading.

The Force was called to an address in Cardiff Road at 8.52am today.

A man was pronounced dead at the scene and a 61-year-old man from Reading was arrested on suspicion of murder. The 61-year-old man is in police custody.

Thames Valley Police currently has a scene watch in place.

The deceased is yet to be formally identified.

“We are in the very early stages of the investigation. The circumstances surrounding the man’s death are unclear at this time so we would ask anyone with information about the incident to contact us via 101.”

– Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Gill Wootton

Murder investigation after man killed in M4 collision

Thames Valley Police have launched a murder investigation after the unexplained death of a man on the M4 in Berkshire.

Officers were called to the eastbound carriageway between junctions 10 for Reading and 8/9 for Windsor, after a driver reported hitting someone at around 10 o'clock on Friday night. The man, who was in his forties, was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

Officers are trying to find out the exact circumstances behind the man's death. A post mortem examination is due to take place this afternoon.

"We have been investigating the death of a man in his forties on the M4 on Friday night and working to establish the exact circumstances behind the death.

"It is as a result of this work that we are now treating this death as a murder investigation.

"I therefore ask that if anyone was travelling along this stretch of motorway on Friday night and saw anything which could help our investigation to get in touch immediately. Did you see anything unusual?"

– Det Ch Supt Chris Ward from Thames Valley Police Major Crime

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101, quoting URN 1707 24/10.

Alternately you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Hannah Graham's parents 'devastated by loss of beautiful daughter'

The parents of murdered teenager Hannah Graham have said they are "devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter".

In a statement John and Sue Graham thanked police, emergency workers and hundreds of volunteers who searched for Hannah, whose remains were discovered five days ago.

"Please continue to hold these families in your thoughts and prayers," they added.

Police had already charged 32-year-old Jesse Matthew Jr with her disappearance.

The Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney's Office said they would now determine what charges will be brought against him.

He is further charged in connection with the disappearance of another woman, Morgan Harrington, whose body was discovered in 2010.

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Remains found in US confirmed to be UK-born student

Human remains found in rural Virginia are those of British-born missing student Hannah Graham, US police have confirmed.

The University of Virginia student, 18, had been missing since September 13. Credit: Charlottesville, Va., Police Dept.

Thousands of volunteers had searched for the University of Virginia student, who lived in Fairfax in the state, since her disappearance in September.

Her remains were found last weekend on an abandoned property near the university campus in Charlottesville.

Local man Jesse Matthew Jr., 32, has been charged in her disappearance.

Cat has head and tail removed in Reading

Thames Valley Police is appealing for information after a cat had its head and tail removed in Reading.

Ozzy the cat

The cat, called Ozzy, was found on Westwood Road in Tilehurst on Tuesday morning, after leaving its home the night before.

A vet determined the injuries to the cat were caused by a person and not the result of being hit by a car or attacked by an animal. The head and the tail of the cat have not been located.

Investigating officer Christopher Stapleton said: “The fact that someone could do this to a defenceless animal really beggars belief.

“This has had a big impact on the owner, who has lot their pet that they cared about.

“I urge anyone with information to contact us.”

If anyone has any details about this incident, they are asked to contact PC Stapleton from Reading police station on 101.

Reading rape investigation brought to a halt

Thames Valley Police says it has fully investigated a report of rape alleged to have taken place in the early hours of Wednesday in Reading.

The allegation, which was reported by a 19-year-old woman, was said to have taken place in Whiteknights Road near a university campus entrance.

The investigation has now been discontinued.

A thorough investigation has taken place into the circumstances of this allegation. There is clear evidence that there was no offence of rape. The complainant is being supported.

I would like to stress that no one should hesitate in coming forward if they have been a victim of crime of any sort. Thames Valley Police will support victims and witnesses throughout investigations in an attempt to prosecute offenders.

– Investigating officer Det Sgt Carl Bradford
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