Swan Bridge (A338 in Great Shefford) is likely to remain closed until mid May 2008. It's been a little difficult for residents to get good information from West Berks Council about it, but it now appears that erosion has undermined the bridges foundations. The bridge is roughly half way through the idyllic West Berks village of Great Shefford shutting the road but not the foot bridge. There are long road detours in place for cars.
The whole area has been subject to significant flooding over the years and maintenance of local streams and water ways has always been very poor. The area is famed to outsiders for the constant flooding on the A338 through the whole village. For locals though the A338 is famed for fast drivers, big lorries and near misses.
This village suffers from the incompetence and bickering of the various Tory and Lib Dem councils running West Berkshire. Neither have actually invested in environmental and social issues, they just do as little as possible all of the time and Great Shefford has taken seen it's fair share of this. The bridge is just an indication of this – if the water management had been sorted out years ago we would not be in the position today.
As a start West Berkshire council need to step up to the mark and:
1. enforce speed limits and give the residence the option to introduce a 20 mph zone through the bulk of their community, especially near the school, shop and community halls.
2. drainage ways and water ways must be maintained to capture run off water and where possible to allow water to collect and soak away.
3. passage through the village on the main road must be with full respect to the residence of the village. People, bicycles and buses should have priority over cars.
4. localisation of power distribution using West Berks abundant wind power and our hydroelectric potential
5. promote our local businesses and farms. We are used to buying produce from Devon, why not promote the best of West Berks produce, products and services?