Frustration over five-month bridge closure near Town Moor

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Concerns have been raised over the extent of works on a footbridge in Maidenhead that will divert pedestrians from a useful route for about five months.

Works in the Town Moor area will involve the replacement of the narrow footbridge over Strand Water with a wider shared-use bridge for both walkers and cyclists, along with widening various paths across Town Moor to allow for safe shared use.

This is part of a ‘major project’ improving cycle access around Maidenhead – the Maidenhead Missing Links scheme.

This cycle route is intended to connect residential areas in the north with the town centre and railway station, making active travel across Maidenhead ‘safer and more convenient’.

Part of the work is a footbridge replacement scheme for a bridge near to Kennet Road. Currently, there are pedestrian diversions set for 21 weeks, starting from Monday, July 18.

However, residents are concerned over the extent of the work, the length of time of the diversion and the impact on those using the route.

Commenters on social media noted the work seems to be taking place over a large section of land ‘wide enough to be a car park’.

Tony Paige from Riverside said one problem is that the existing bridge is ‘used on a daily basis for lots of people who live in the Riverside of Maidenhead, to walk into town.’

“To close it for five months shows a complete disregard for people who are trying to use their cars less and be green,” he said.

He added that, though there is an alternative route via the path that runs into town along the Strand Water tributary and under the dual carriageway, coming out at the new Shanly development, that route has problems.

“Unfortunately there is a constant leak onto this path from Strand Water, which makes the path slippery and very dangerous,” he said.

“It would not take much to actually plug this leak but the council have done nothing about it for many years.

“If more people are going to use this route while the other bridge is out of action, this leak must be fixed.”

More works for Town Moor are planned to ‘start in earnest’ from Tuesday,

August 2 and this is the ‘final phase’ of the project.

Describing the project earlier this month, Cllr Phil Haseler, cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“The Missing Links scheme aims to create safer and more convenient cycling routes, helping more people to reduce their reliance on vehicles for short journeys, which supports our environment and climate strategy, as well as the health and wellbeing of residents.

“We’re now gearing up to start these much-needed works. In order to complete these significant upgrades safely and as quickly as possible, there will need to be temporary closures and diversions in place, which of course will affect some people, and we would like to thank you in advance for your patience.”

Regarding the leak, a Borough spokesman said:

“The leak being referred to is an ongoing issue just to the north of the subway under St Cloud Way alongside the stream. This is on a public footpath but is not on the diversion route for the bridge replacement project.

“To address the issue we are looking to improve surface drainage to prevent surface run off and hope this work will be completed soon.”

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