09:00AM, Thursday 20 August 2020
Harry Thanvi, part-owner of Salon Fresh which has been affected by road changes in Queen Street
Staff at a hair salon in Queen Street say that road alterations outside the property are damaging the business.
The council is carrying out a series of changes to the town centre to promote active travel and encourage better social distancing as footfall begins to increase post-lockdown.
Works, funded by the Government, will see wider pavements, cycle lanes and reconfigured bus stops installed. Parking and loading restrictions will also be amended.
But Angelo Gangi, part-owner at hairdresser Salon Fresh, says bollards blocking parking spaces outside his business are having a negative impact on his customers, adding he was not aware of the works taking place.
“We have clients that need to be dropped off right at the front. It is just a mess,” he told the Advertiser.
“I don’t understand why they don’t do the same thing as Marlow [one-way pedestrian system]. Maidenhead is in a really bad way for parking, and it is putting people off coming [here]. This has made it worse.”
Traffic queues have also been reported in Queen Street and York Road.
The works are part of ‘tranche one’ of the council’s active travel measures, which are being paid for by the Government’s emergency active travel fund.
Cllr Gerry Clark (Con, Bisham and Cookham), the Royal Borough’s lead member for transport, said this is an evolving scheme and encouraged businesses to get in touch with him if they have concerns.
He added that it has been limited to tight deadlines and has been consulted with local businesses.
“We are a common sense council. Where there is a positive effect, we would look to keep schemes. Where there is a limited or negative effect, they would be improved or potentially removed,” he said.
“We are working at speed and taking advantage of the help from Government, and where there are any issues that arise, they can be reconfigured and revised.”
Cllr Clark said the council will be 'keeping an eye’ on the scheme’s impacts in terms of whether it will be a permanent or temporary measure. He added that it also fits in with the council’s already-approved cycling action plan.
He said: “Residents can contact officers, or me, if there is something. We have got to keep an eye on the impacts.”
On Salon Fresh’s concerns, Cllr Clark said: “I hope he has raised an official, formal concern and if he has not got the correct level of support, he can contact me directly.”
The council is waiting on whether it has been successful in bidding for ‘tranche two’ of the active travel scheme.
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