A MILLIONAIRE yachting tycoon who is behind Reading’s Olympic medal factory rowing school has unveiled his own ambitious vision for a third Thames bridge.

Sports philanthropist David Sherriff has drawn up detailed plans for the crossing - raised up on piles and spanning a 100m wide stretch of the river - to be built over the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake he helped create. In his plans the bridge would be fed to the north by a new roundabout at the junction between Caversham Park Road and Henley Road and to the south by the roundabout at Thames Valley Park Drive.

Mr Sherriff said: “Everybody knows there has to be a third river crossing. It’s something the nation needs because Reading is no longer a market town, it’s becoming an IT city. It’s absolutely essential to have the right links and it’s no good saying we live in the dark ages because people have to be able to get about.

“There’s absolutely no demolition involved whatsoever and that’s important. All we’re saying to people is there’s a route here - I have written the report to focus people’s minds on the simplicity of it, not how it’s going to be funded.”

The proposed bridge would not be expected to cost more than the bill of £80m to £100m attached to other proposals for a crossing between the A329M and Caversham. Yet that could cut traffic passing through Caversham by around a quarter. Mr Sherriff, 66, from Medmenham, Bucks, said there are five landowners - including his own company Dreadnought Reach Ltd - spanning the site where the bridge would be built, all of which are supportive of the plans.

He is now calling on others to take up the proposal and added: “I’ve been here for 35 years - I built the marinas, I built the rowing lake and I see this bridge as just so simple if everyone gets on side. I’m not just here to muck around, I’ve been working on things on this site for years and years and years and I know how to do it. We don’t start things or get involved with things unless we’re going to make them work.”