'Avoid Windsor' sign changed after trader anger

'Avoid Windsor' sign changed after trader anger

Francis Batt

'Avoid Windsor' sign changed after trader anger
Martin Miranda at King Edward Court
Angry traders have succeeded in getting a motorway sign changed that warned drivers to 'avoid Windsor'.

They believe that the sign - put up a week ago by the Highways Agency - kept many people from shopping in the town, despite the fact that its centre was open for businesses and unaffected by the floods.

Windsor's town centre manager Paul Roach said: "Some businesses had customers cancel and couriers turn round, because they did not think they could get into the town."

The sign went up near junction six of the M4 early last week as the Highways Agency tried to ease potentially dangerous traffic jams building up on the motorway.

The jams built up because thousands of drivers headed for Windsor were turning off towards Royal Windsor Way (formerly the Windsor Eton Relief Road), following the closure by floods of two other major roads into the town.

Mr Roach says he understands why the sign were put up - motorway jams could be dangerous.

But on Friday the Highways Agency - the Government body responsible for road management - responded to his approach by amending the sign to say 'localised flooding' instead of 'avoid Windsor'.

Martin Miranda, who is secretary of Windsor District Chamber of Commerce and manager of King Edward Court shopping centre in the town, believes the sign may have contributed to a poor week of trading in the town - although things improved at the weekend after it was changed.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: "We can't leave drivers uninformed about a possible problem on the route. But we listened to the feedback over the wording of this sign."

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