The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has just announced a cabinet paper for a Windsor strategic plan. This will include the Windsor Link Railway. The council’s forward plan says:

If the recommendation to produce a Strategic Planning Document is accepted there will be widespread consultation with residents, businesses and stakeholders.

The Windsor Link Railway is very pleased to see this. Last year, we had success in the Borough Local Plan to get the rail link supported in principle and, for the first time, to get Windsor (rather than just Maidenhead) recognised as needing investment. WLR’s only request is alacrity, that the consultation is done in September and that council does not then start yet another multi-year planning process. The needs of Windsor regarding access to the town and parking are urgent. We already have a neighbourhood plan and a Borough Local Plan in progress; these should be sufficient and timely.

WLR will effectively double the frequency of trains from Windsor to both Waterloo and Slough, taking over 10 minutes off the average journey time to London. This will make a huge difference to the value of Windsor as a place to live as well as making it easier for visitors to come. In addition it is proposed that perhaps 3,200 spaces could be provided under Alexandra Gardens with an improved road layout and at the same time significantly enlarging the park, reconnecting it with the river and improving views of the castle – making the park something worth visiting in its own right. Some existing car parking would be developed to better fit in with the Conservation Area, providing much needed residential and office space. This in turn would make Windsor’s retail, leisure and business core more sustainable and secure for the future.

The pictures above show Alexandra Gardens, taken last winter. The second picture shows how car parking divides the park from the river. WLR thinks we can do much better than this. The last picture shows a view of the Grade II* listed railway bridge and the natural environment. By improving the park we can make a more attractive interface between the built environment and our natural one.