The Windsor Link Railway strongly supports the rejuvenation of Maidenhead. The video above, released for the well-attended event held at Adobe last week, shows why it is so exciting for local businesses and residents.
Maidenhead and the area around it is an economic powerhouse. Much of its success has been built on great connectivity to London. However, much of this is at or near to capacity, including both the fast rail lines to London and the M4, which threatens future growth. Crossrail will be a great addition to connections to London but the town has very poor connections around the region. However, whilst Crossrail will use up much of the remaining capacity to London, at the same time many of the orbital rail connections are curiously under-utilised or disused. This exacerbates the problem on the main line as many orbital journeys are forced to travel via central London even if this is not the most direct route.
Examples of this include journeys to south-London from Maidenhead. South London is an important economic area and large reservoir of highly-skilled labour. At the moment there is no practical journey from, say, Richmond to Maidenhead by either road or rail (except for the most determined commuter). Another example is the journey from High Wycombe to Maidenhead. This is currently only possible via the highly congested A404 or via London. Again, this poor connectivity limits economic growth for both towns.
Phase 1 of the WLR will improve links to London by connecting Maidenhead companies to over 0.6 million potential employees in south-west London (according to Network Rail) by reducing the journey time to under one hour for many.
Phase 2 of the WLR will connect Maidenhead direct to Heathrow and (unlike the Scheme promoted by Slough council) provide four trains per hour, making the train a practical and sustainable alternative to the car. Moreover the more sensible cost of the WLR scheme means that this can be delivered without further pressure on fares.
Future phases of the WLR will also connect High Wycombe to Heathrow and the south via Maidenhead, further improving journey options for Maidenhead businesses and residents.
Overall, these improvements will support – and even essential to – the rejuvenation of Maidenhead.