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Wheelchair user puts visits to town on hold due to crossing safety concerns

A wheelchair user has said safety concerns over the roadworks outside Maidenhead Station means she is no longer willing to make the journey into town.

Alison Lewis, who lives in Marlow, has multiple sclerosis, a condition affecting the brain and spinal cord which can cause serious disability.

She has been using her electric wheelchair full-time for many years and, up until her last visit on Saturday, has always travelled to the town by train.

But Alison says she no longer feels safe to negotiate the pedestrian crossing outside the station due to the ongoing improvement works.

She said: “I’m appalled by that road layout. It is so dangerous for people with wheelchairs, or for people who can’t see very well.”

She added: “I was coming in weekly, that’s a no-go at the moment – it stops me coming in.”

Alison said: “If you stand on one side of it the traffic light is so far across the other side of the road - anyone with a visual impairment is not going to see that.”

She added: “I felt so unsafe trying to cross at that crossing.”

Until a few years ago Alison had an assistance dog called Baggins. She said: “If I had him now I would not have been able to take him around that crossing – he would have been too worried.”

Alison also believes there is a lack of signage for pedestrians and drivers.

A spokeswoman from the Royal Borough said: “The current temporary traffic management around the Queen Street junction meets all safety criteria and regulations.

“However we will look into this resident’s concerns and see if there is anything extra we can do until a final decision is made.

“We are working to get surrounding works (excluding Queen Street until a decision is made) completed as soon as possible to remove the need for temporary measures.”

The £4.5million project to improve pedestrian access to the station has been funded by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Last month, a controversial decision was made by the borough’s cabinet to ban the right-hand turn from Queen Street on to the A308.

At a meeting due to take place last night (Wednesday), the infrastructure overview & scrutiny panel councillors were set to further discuss the ban and consider what steps should be taken next after the decision was called in by opposition councillors.

This could include upholding the original decision or referring the matter back to full council.

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