Cllr Colin Rayner was interviewed on BBC Berkshire this morning about the Windsor Link Railway. You can hear his comments below, right after a number of local residents support it. WLR understands the BBC couldn’t find a resident to oppose the scheme.
Cllr Rayner had many (highly sensible) reservations about the technical challenges and disruption and said that they had a ‘change of heart’ about doing a consultation until they understand it better. He confirmed, however, that he supported the scheme in principle and called the Windsor Link Railway ‘a fantastic scheme for Windsor’. He also asked for more information from WLR and for comfort from Network Rail and the Government:
We’ve got to get Network Rail, the people who own the railway, to take the scheme on. They’ve got to want the idea. The Government’s… Acts of Parliament change a railway line and it’s not within the remit of a local council… We need to find out if the government is for the scheme and Railtrack (sic) is for the scheme. There’s no point us planning this fantastic scheme for Windsor unless Railtrack have signed up for it and are happy for it to go ahead and also the government.
The BBC then interviewed Richard Dexter, Tunneling Director of the Joseph Gallagher Group (4’20” in):
My first impression was that they were inspired. I hadn’t realised that Windsor’s trains stations were both blind in… They’re very clever, they’re a very clever solution to what has been a perennial problem because the scheme has been on the scheme for the best part of thirty of forty years… There are a number of technical challenges with the Windsor geology but nothing that I saw in the consultation documents is beyond the wit of man. It is all within the technical capability of the industry.
This second clip is George Bathurst being interviewed (below). He was challenged by the interviewer about the concerns of the council, to which the response was that the council already had confirmation from both Network Rail and the Department for Transport that the scheme was supported and within policy.
WLR would add that it supports the council’s view that a full consultation with local people (and hopefully a referendum) was premature before more drawings of the scheme are available, so that residents can see what it will look like once complete. This is particularly important given the highly sensitive nature of the area and its heritage.
Listen to the entire Andrew Peach show here.