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Town centre parking and cycle routes 'critical' issues, resident survey finds

Town centre parking is difficult, bus services need to be more frequent, and there is a demand for better cycling routes, according to a survey completed by Maidenhead residents.

On Monday, The Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum (MNF) published the results of its ‘getting around’ survey of 351 Maidenhead residents, which it conducted from January 8 to January 20.

The group, which has applied to put together a neighbourhood plan for the unparished wards of Maidenhead, is using the ‘sounding’ survey of about 0.7 per cent of the town’s residents to get an idea of the population’s thoughts on transportation.

The data shows that 61 per cent of residents park their cars in the town centre once a week or less, the average Maidenhead household owns 1.73 cars, and 45 per cent of households do not own a bicycle.

Typically those living in wards further from the town centre owned more cars (St Mary’s 1.3 cars, Hurley and Walthams two cars) and about 300 of the participants agreed or strongly agreed that town centre parking is a ‘critical’ issue.

On the findings of the survey, Matthew Shaw, MNF chairman, said: “Inevitably, it is the civic-minded, the angry or the less-busy who take part (in the survey), but you’ll see that the range of people reached and the opinions expressed are quite diverse, and there is no one else doing soundings as carefully and dispassionately as MNF.

“One key message is that Maidenhead has serious issues with mobility today. ”Town centre parking is difficult and recent changes to the road layout are not viewed positively.

“There is a lack of viable alternatives because the buses are slow and infrequent, cycling has too many impediments and walking is not viable for some far-flung estates.”

Speaking about the survey, Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray) lead member for Maidenhead, said: “As Matthew does say, its indicitive of the public but it can’t be claimed that it’s a perfect representation.

“I think the points they all make are fair, we will need more parking. ”Vicus Way could be completed this year and will provide a new stream of parking.

“I agree we do need better cycle routes and that’s why we have a cycling forum.

“Buses are more dificult, everyone says they want them but very few use them. We do need better services but the bus companies need money so its a bit of a catch 22.”

Visit bit.ly/37KrQYZ to view the findings of the survey in full.

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  • floboo

    19:35, 03 February 2020

    Cllr Coppinger, like the rest of the administration, really don't want to accept they've stuffed up or consider listening to residents. "it's indicative of the public but it can't be claimed it's a perfect representation". Clearly he doesn't read the Advertiser letters page or Facebook posts in various Maidenhead groups but believes he's found a 'loop hole' to excuse having to truly resolve issues. Viscus Way car park is not close enough to town to carry your shopping to and routes to it are dark dingy and lack safety so I'm not sure how that is going to truly relieve the parking issues.

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