Councillors question viability of Windsor Link Railway project

Councillors question viability of Windsor Link Railway project

David Lee

Doubts were cast on plans for the Windsor Link Railway (WLR) at the latest meeting of the Windsor Town Forum.

Chris Hilton, director of development and regeneration for the Royal Borough, gave an update on the ambitious private project at the forum’s meeting on Thursday, October 8.

The project, spearheaded by Windsor Link Railway Ltd, proposes linking the lines running into Windsor’s two stations by a tunnel, creating a route between Slough and South London.

But Mr Hilton told the forum that before any planning for the WLR can begin, the company needs to secure around £30,000  from the Royal Borough to pay for a ‘due diligence process’.

Cllr Edward Wilson (Con, Clewer South) said: “Does the planning department have time to be looking at private projects to see if they’re feasible?

“It’s great to hear that £30,000 is a small amount of money. As a Scotsman that’s a lot of money.

“I think we need to think very carefully about that, particularly when this is a private project.”

Cllr John Bowden (Con, Clewer East) also questioned whether WLR, of which Royal Borough councillor George Bathurst is managing director, had taken into account the specifications required for the proposed track.

He said: “South West Trains have updated to eight coach trains through Windsor. The one that goes from Windsor & Eton Central to Slough is at best a three coach and is on a different power supply.

“Where’s the technical knowledge behind this?”

Questions on the WLR were included in the latest Borough Local Plan survey.

Anne Taylor, from the Windsor and Eton Society, said the public consultation process had not given the public the full information.

She said: “When you do the public consultation, you’ve got to make clear what the implications are.”

The meeting took place at Windsor Guildhall.

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