12:30PM, Friday 22 January 2021
A four-week consultation window for ‘radical’ changes to roads in Maidenhead and Windsor has been labelled unacceptable by councillors.
Residents have been given until February 9 to give feedback on a number of schemes which aim to reduce car traffic and encourage more walking and cycling in the borough.
The proposals have been drawn up after the council secured £335,000 from the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of the Government’s Active Travel Fund.
The funding aims to encourage local authorities to deliver projects which reduce the number of cars on the road in the post-coronavirus era.
Schemes put forward in the borough include a bus gate in Shoppenhangers Road to stop drivers using the road for through journeys between Braywick Road and Larchfield (see p1).
Low-traffic neighbourhoods are also suggested in Windsor, which would see a number of roads closed off to cars, restricting access between Dedworth Road and Maidenhead Road.
Councillor John Baldwin (Lib Dems, Belmont) told a meeting of the council’s infrastructure and overview scrutiny panel on Tuesday: “These proposals are so radically different from what was originally intended. I think our original bid was for over £700,000 and we’ve received barely half of that.
“What we’ve seen is a complete change in approach. It isn’t a scaling down of a previous set of consulted changes, it’s a radically different approach.”
He added: “The consultation window is unacceptable and if the consultation window can’t be moved I think the proposal should be withdrawn in its entirety.”
Conservative councillor Phil Haseler (Cox Green) said the council needs to look at how fair and meaningful the consultation is as the schemes proposed could have ‘very serious knock-on effects’ for residents.
The council’s cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, councillor Gerry Clark (Con, Bisham and Cookham) responded: “This is not a scheme that we’re going ahead with, this is a consultation to determine the appetite for such schemes.
“If residents are overwhelmingly against it these schemes will not progress.”
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