A BOTTLENECK bridge which has proven to be a source of frustration with commuters was demolished over the weekend.

Work to demolish the existing arch bridge on Cow Lane was completed and motorists will be able to use road after it reopened on Monday morning.

As part of the programme of upgrades, which is being carried out by Network Rail, the height restriction will be lifted, which means double-decker buses will be able to use the road for the very first time.

A wider road also allows for two cars to pass through safely to relieve the frequent delays at peak times, as well as reducing the risk to cyclists.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Planning and Transport, said: “I would like to thank everyone working on the demolition for their efforts in ensuring the work was completed over the weekend, meaning the road could open in good time for the Monday morning rush hour.

"I would also thank residents for their patience over the weekend during the closure.

“The demolition of the old bridge is a significant landmark in this project which, when complete, will bring major benefits to the west of Reading and the Oxford Road.”

The widening of the road is expected to provide a key route for larger commercial vehicles.

Work began on site following this year’s Reading Festival and is due to be completed before next year’s festival at the end of August 2018.

Traffic lights will no longer be needed and a new shared use footpath and cycleway will be introduced through the bridge.

Shyam Samani, project manager for Network Rail, said: “The demolition of the arch bridge at Cow Lane in Reading was successfully completed over the weekend, with the road reopening at 3am on Monday.

“I am delighted that we have been able to complete this work according to schedule, meaning that we will not require an additional closure of the road next weekend."

A contingency closure was scheduled for this coming weekend, but will no longer be needed.