02:37PM, Wednesday 30 September 2020
Hopes for themed pedestrian crossings in the town centres of the borough have been dashed after a large majority of responding members of the public voted to abandon the idea.
In July, Councillor Joshua Reynolds (Lib Dem, Furze Platt) floated the possibility of a Pride-themed rainbow pedestrian crossing in Maidenhead town. Cllr Neil Knowles (OWRA, Old Windsor) was also interested in installing a Pride-themed crossing in Windsor.
The idea was discussed by the council, who decided to broaden the options out, potentially depicting a theme of heritage, culture, or support for the NHS.
The Royal Borough then opened up for online public consultation, including the option not to have a themed crossing at all.
After the month-long consultation period, the results showed that 82 per cent of respondents said they did not want a themed crossing.
Some respondents were of the belief that a crossing serves a functional purpose and that the added cost of creating a themed crossing was not a good use of the borough’s finances.
Councillor Gerry Clark, lead member for highways and infrastructure, said:
“Having seen how other local authorities have successfully installed Pride crossings or painted thank you signs on their roads during the coronavirus pandemic, we wanted to give Royal Borough residents the opportunity to have their say on whether to do something similar within our communities.
“We’ve listened to your feedback and we won’t be proceeding with themed crossings.”
The result comes as a disappointment to Cllr Reynolds, who believes residents were reacting to the cost of £8,000, rather than objecting to the message of diversity he had in mind.
“As a cost to the council, it’s not that much money – when you look at that number in the round, it’s a very different number to what people see,” he said.
“Other local authorities have had such positive responses afterwards, in the way it makes the local environment more attractive. Hopefully in the future it can be revisited.”
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