03:07PM, Thursday 20 June 2019
Motorists will soon be able to experience how the town works without the right turn from Queen Street when the council trials the scheme next month.
The two-way traffic system in Broadway will also come into effect as of Monday, July 1, a Maidenhead Town Forum meeting heard on Monday.
At the Town Hall gathering, councillors and the public discussed the ongoing and planned improvement works in Broadway, around Bell Street and outside the train station.
The council is teaming up with the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to make a series of enhancements to the town centre road network, improving access for pedestrians and cyclists.
One of the more controversial plans involves the absence of the right turn from Queen Street towards Grenfell Road.
To see how this will work, the council will be experimenting with a temporary two-week closure of the right turn on July 15.
Work is also taking place to facilitate wider pavements and pedestrian crossings to prepare for an increase in commuters with the introduction of Crossrail.
Councillors received a presentation at the forum from Ben Smith, head of communities at the Royal Borough, who confirmed that the council is listening to residents.
Mr Smith said of the trial: “People will be able to experience how it will work during the engagement period. We will then come back to this forum [on July 24] and discuss further.”
In April, council leader Cllr Simon Dudley told the Royal Borough cabinet that the public had not heard enough about the right-turn plans.
“This is very much a focus on walking, cycling and public transport,” Mr Smith added.
“It links in with the regeneration of the town centre.
“There has been significant activity in terms of our social media, encouraging feedback from people.
“Where we [will] go from here is get as much feedback as we can and then come back to this forum with the outcome of that exercise.”
Concerns were raised over the right-turn’s impact on emergency services, with Cllr Stuart Carroll (Con, Boyn Hill) – not sitting on the forum – saying from the public gallery that it was ‘critical’ these groups were properly consulted.
Mr Smith told the forum the council is doing a ‘statutory’ consultation with these groups.
“We do get feedback from the police but not so much from the others [ambulance and fire service], so we will reach out to both of these organisations to get a view,” he said.
Cllr Andrew Johnson (Con, Hurley and Walthams), lead member for transport policy, said at the meeting: “The views of residents and businesses do matter to us. This is a scheme which has had a business case approved, much of the work has already been done – what I am really keen to see is a solution that suits the majority of residents.
“For the record, no formal decision is taken until at least July 24 when all these consultation responses have been analysed.”
The Queen Street trial will come two weeks after the two-way workings in Broadway are implemented.
The two-way workings – which will allow vehicles to turn right out of Broadway and either left or right onto Frascati Way – are expected to be permanent subject to changes to nearby developments, including Broadway and the Landing.
It is thought the two-way system will stop 300 vehicles a day travelling through the town centre via the Queen Street turn.
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