10:40AM, Wednesday 17 February 2021
UPDATE: Opposition councillors express relief at the abandonment of a proposal that was 'too vast' and would have impacted residents’ lives 'in a drastic way.'
The Royal Borough has decided to abandon a proposal on two low traffic neighbourhoods in West Windsor.
Thousands of residents responded to a consultation around proposed cycling and walking improvements in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.
The LTN scheme proposed stopping cars from driving down a number of key roads in Dedworth and Clewer including Gallys Road and Smiths Lane.
A total of 2,221 responses were received on the idea, with about 90 per cent opposed to the proposals.
Plans to build a bus gate in Shoppenhangers Road, Maidenhead, also received 2,225 responses with 95 per cent of people objecting.
Councillor Gerry Clark, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: "I am delighted that residents in their thousands have engaged with the latest infrastructure consultation.
“The consultation has done its job and we have listened. It is clear from the results that residents are against the bus gate and the low traffic neighbourhood proposals and therefore these schemes will not be progressed.”
The four-week consultation was run entirely online because of the current lockdown restrictions.
Cllr Clark said: "All responses will be analysed and we will consider some of the genuinely innovative alternative suggestions that have been put forward.
“When designing these schemes, we prioritise what will support residents' lives; what will support new house building; what will help meet our commitments to tackling climate change, and what will help support our local economy recovery post-COVID.”
Cllr Clark added: “We will be looking to hold more consultation events in the future using both digital and traditional methods to ensure that everyone has their say, and to engage with more residents on the crucial issue of infrastructure.”
Clewer and Dedworth West councillor Jon Davey (West Windsor Residents’ Association), who raised concerns about the proposals when they first came to light, said the scrapping of the LTN proposal was ‘fantastic news.’
“The scheme was too vast – we would change too many things at once and it wouldn’t be fair on residents,” he said.
“The original concept was small, then within a couple of weeks it had gone from a couple of streets to the whole of West Windsor. It would have impacted residents’ lives in such a drastic way.”
Cllr Davey highlighted that restricting car usage would be problematic for elderly or less mobile people, for whom even a short walk can be a struggle.
He added that some roads, such as Kentons Lane, do need to change, as the increase in the number of cars ‘zooming around the bend’ is causing accidents – but the bigger roads such as Gallys Road and Smiths Lane are not problematic.
“Cllr Clark did say if a majority of people didn’t want the proposal to go ahead, it wouldn’t, and he has been as good as his word,” said Cllr Davey.
The consultation also asked for feedback on school streets near local schools in Ascot, Maidenhead and Windsor.
Several school street schemes were not supported, including those for Trevelyan Middle School in Windsor and South Ascot Village Primary School.
The candidates standing in the upcoming Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner election have outlined their priorities for policing in the region.
A petition has been created by a Windsor resident which calls on the borough council to improve safety at a blackspot junction.