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Questions remain over car parking 'solution' - Opponents voice concerns over plans to introduce 900 spaces

January 23, 2009 12:00 AM
By Francis Batt - francisb@baylismedia.co.uk in Windsor Express

A MUCH-TOUTED new plan to ease Windsor's parking problems was expected to get the go-ahead from top councillors last night - despite a growing backlash.

The plan to provide an extra 900 parking spaces in the town was announced by the authority's ruling Conservatives earlier this month. It was set to go before the Royal Borough's cabinet last

night. But Mike Sullivan from West Windsor Residents' Association is unimpressed by councillors' plans for park-and-ride schemes based at Centrica and Windsor Racecourse in Maidenhead Road.

Speaking to the Express this week he said: "Fifty per cent of visitor traffic comes off the Relief Road and the council's plan will send most of it straight through the town's most congested roundabouts - Clarence Road and Maidenhead Road. "It will then send it up busy, congested Maidenhead Road before bringing people back along the same road into the town."

He feels the council's decision to turn roads once used by visitors into 'residents only' parking has been a disaster, fulfilling a manifesto commitment but taking no account of the looming recession.

He said: "There are empty streets adjoining the main shopping area of St Leonard's Road, streets that were once full of people who would have parked there before popping into the shops - now they can't because only residents are allowed to park. "Streets zoned for residents only in the evening are empty. "Claremont Road had only two cars parked in it recently. Once those roads would have been full of cars belonging to people frequenting the restaurants nearby, which are all suffering."

Opposition Liberal Democrat councillors are also against the new Conservative plans. They are questioning why earlier plans for a park and ride from the M4 were dropped. Lib Dem leader Cllr Simon Werner said Windsor has been left 'without any serious long term strategic solution to its

parking or traffic problems'.

But the new plan received a boost when the Government's South East England Regional Transport Board agreed to make £7million available for it, following a meeting with the Royal

Borough's lead member for finance Cllr David Hilton on Friday.

■ The scheme proposes park and walk facilities at King Edward VII Hospital, an expansion to the existing Home Park park-and-ride, a park-and-ride at Windsor Racecourse and Centrica,

and shared parking facilities with local businesses in the evenings and at weekends when employees are not at work.