Cabinet approve Queen Street proposals
Published: Friday, 27th September 2019
Proposals that could encourage more people to walk and cycle and improve connectivity between Maidenhead town centre and the train station have been approved by cabinet.
The proposals, which will remove the right-hand turn from the Queen Street junction onto the A308, will allow pedestrians and cyclists to access the town centre more easily by creating a larger, more direct crossing. The removal of this right-hand turn will allow a dedicated cycle lane to be created, making it easier to cycle to and from the station. This will be complemented by an additional 250 cycle storage spaces planned for Maidenhead railway station. This change will also mean key paths can be increased in size, enabling pedestrians waiting to cross the road to not be inadvertently pushed into busy on-coming traffic due to lack of space.
Residents provided feedback on the proposals before and during the trial period with recent face-to-face survey results finding that:
- 70% of respondents feel that the change will help improve connectivity between the town centre and the station
- 60% saying it would make the area safer for pedestrians
- 60% who feel that the change will improve the layout of the junction
Cllr Andrew Johnson, leader of the council, said: “The independent survey conducted on our behalf, shows that most residents feel that this change will meet our objectives of making the area safer for vulnerable road users, improve the connectivity between the station and the town centre and improve the overall layout of the junction.
“It was important to us that we considered resident and road user views as part of our decision making process, viewing it holistically with the trial data and forecast railway user figures.
“I am of course aware that some residents feel very strongly that this change will not make the improvements we hope. While we acknowledge their concerns, we feel that running of the trial has proved that this scheme can work without impacting the majority of motorists while benefiting pedestrians and cyclists.”
The proposals were put to the test as part of a trial which started on 8 July, in conjunction with the introduction of a new two-way system on The Broadway to help reduce any impact on motorists. In addition, there is evidence that since the introduction of the trial scheme many road users have changed their behaviour, taking the pressure off some of our more congested roads.
The scheme has also received support from all three emergency services; South Central Ambulance, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue and Thames Valley Police - all of whom agree that the proposals would not hamper their ability to get to residents in need.
Cllr Johnson added: “In July, we declared a climate emergency and committed to doing everything we can to reduce our carbon emissions. Part of this includes encouraging and giving our residents the tools to access the town centre more sustainably by walking or cycling. These changes will help encourage that behaviour and help us reach our target.
“I am pleased to hear that our emergency services colleagues have confirmed our thoughts that this change will not have a detrimental effect on their ability to get to people as quickly as possible and that it will also help reduce serious accidents in the area.”
The decison made by cabinet is subject to the call in process.