The full council of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead received two petitions from WLR yesterday evening.
The first was petitioning the council to do more to support the Windsor Link Railway. This received 1,020 signatures including 163 online. This will now be debated at the next full council meeting on 25 February 2014.
The second petition was for the local council to look actively at ideas for improving the riverside area, parking and transport in Windsor, including those of the Windsor Link Railway Ltd, on behalf of local residents. This was collected as part of the survey WLR conducted earlier this year. It received 376 signatures, of which 235 were responses via Survey Monkey, 32 were returned by post card and 109 were collected by paper. The borough may not count the Survey Monkey signatures but the remaining 141 are still sufficient to enable consideration by the appropriate council head of service and lead member.
The video of George Bathurst, Managing Director of WLR presenting the petitions is above – please forgive the ‘ship roll’ in the recording! Also, the transcript of his speech is below.
The Windsor Link Railway is an integrated transport scheme for Windsor, Maidenhead and the surrounding area. It will save our residents a million hours a year in travel time and take 7,000 cars a day off our roads.
The reason I am bringing a petition to the council, is that to deliver these benefits, the Windsor Link Railway will need your help.
We have support from private investors. We have support from the rail operators, Network Rail and South West Trains. We have support from the Department for Transport. We have support from Heathrow Airport. We have wide public support, with over 92% support registered in a survey earlier this year, and the in-principle support of the Central Windsor Neighbourhood Plan. We have support from across the political spectrum. We also have support from 7 local MPs, including both for the borough.
And, as being delivered today, we have 1,423 signatures in support.
I am therefore asking you to do just that. By asking for support, WLR is not asking for money. We are not asking to circumvent proper planning procedures. You are not being asked to approve anything but merely to say that you are sufficiently interested to warrant further investigation. And I am asking for your help in public so there can be no accusations of secret deals. What we really need is your active assistance making the transport case, officer time and goodwill.
If it is built, the WLR would be the first privately-led new railway for over 100 years. We would not only have brought great benefits to residents but also have established a new model for infrastructure procurement for the UK, saving billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, enabling many similar schemes to be brought forward, contributing greatly to economic growth and our quality of life.
By supporting this scheme in principle, you would re-enforce RBWM’s status as a vanguard authority. Again though, we won’t be able to do it without you and will need your help.