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Viewpoint: Bray Road, rail timetables and the Borough Local Plan

Featuring concerns about road safety in Bray Road, frustration at the revised Great Western Railway timetable, and information about the Borough Local Plan consultation.

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

Viewpoint: Bray Road, rail timetables and the Borough Local Plan

Bray Road

PC Harper had strong links with Maidenhead

I was wondering if you would be so kind to thank everyone from the Maidenhead Rugby Club for their kind support as well as the players from the Thames Valley and Metropolitan Police and all who attended the game on Wednesday, November 20 in honour of my son PC Andrew Harper.

It might come as a surprise but many of the Harper family have lived in Maidenhead and as a matter of coincidence I was born in St Marks Road on November 20, 1964 and lived there for a couple of years before moving to Burnham.

My father moved to Maidenhead in 1959 and took up an apprenticeship at British Telecommunications Research (BTR) at Taplow Court.

My grandparents lived in Shirley Road and my grandpa worked at Electrical Press as a compositor.

Both of my uncles also lived in Shirley Road. My Uncle Phil and Uncle Paul worked at Brylcreem for many years, and might be remembered by some for their petrol-head enthusiasm to build their custom cars Mk2 Zodiac and a Mk2 Jaguar.

Also my Uncle Phil might be remembered for his welly boot throwing, of which he would spend many hours at the Thicket practicing and would win many contests. In fact, I think the Maidenhead Advertiser may have done a feature on him in the early Eighties.

My grandparents passed away many years ago and have been laid to rest atthe Braywick Cemetery, not far from the rugby ground.

Although we have moved away from Maidenhead, Andrew would still go back to work at Maidenhead, Taplow and what was Burnham Police Station then.

We have fond memories of Maidenhead and Burnham and just wanted to thank everyone for their support at this difficult time.

I hope all went well at the game last night and everyone had a good time.


Father of PC Andrew Harper

Cut trees and install humps on Bray Road

The death of a pedestrian in Bray Road, Maidenhead, is extremely sad and very regrettable and my condolences go to his family. 

The accident happened at the pedestrian crossing by Chiltern Road and this crossing is used a lot by children and parents walking to and from Oldfield School. 

There has been a long-running problem with pedestrian crossings in this road and I have particular knowledge of the crossing by the school at the end of The Avenue. 

My daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren cross at this point every day on their way to and from school as they live on the Fisheries Estate.   

Our experience suggests that it was only a matter of time before a serious accident happened in this road and at any of the two crossings.

Such were our concerns that my daughter and myself met some time ago with Derek Wilson, when he was a councillor, and one of the suggestions we made at the time was that the trees on either side of the road (and hanging over the Bray Road) at the crossing by the school should be removed. 

The reason for this suggestion was that the trees cast a dark shadow over the road at this point and anyone familiar with driving up and down Bray Road will know that it is difficult to see someone waiting to cross the road. 

To our dismay the tree officer for the Royal Borough has more power than the residents because he blocked that proposal. 

We have regrettably to conclude that trees are more worth protecting than people. 

We know that the headteacher of Oldfield School has expressed concerns about this crossing in the past and is in support of the trees being removed on either side of the road. 

Perhaps after this regrettable incident it will be a wake-up call to the authorities to do something before there is another accident. 

The other point I want to make is why are there not speed humps in Bray Road on either side of these two pedestrian crossing when it has already been established as a principle that speed humps are adjacent to schools elsewhere in the borough?  

For example, there are speed humps in Smiths Lane by Dedworth Middle School. 

The installation of speed humps seems to be the only practical solution to this problem together with the removal of the trees I refer to.  

Come on Royal Borough, grasp the nettle and do something in this road and learn the lesson from this sad event before there is another accident.




New rail timetable is ‘a backward step’

On December 15 there is a new rail timetable being introduced and the number of fast Great Western trains to and from Paddington/Maidenhead has been reduced significantly.

For example the very popular 09.41 fast train to London (Monday to Friday) is replaced by a slow stopping train run by Transport for London.

Worse still GWR will now be refusing to accept cheap day travel cards on virtually all of their fast evening services from Paddington to Maidenhead (unless you wait around til after 7pm), forcing passengers to instead use the very slow stopping services to be run by Transport for London.

Overall the introduction of the new Crossrail/TfL services on December 15 is a significant backward step for the people of Maidenhead.

From December 15 passengers to Maidenhead will have to travel on slow stopping services (taking more than twice the time of the present fast services) in what is basically underground rolling stock with much reduced seating.

The new TfL Rail services will do nothing for those of us who live in Maidenhead –  a 100 per cent plus increase in many journey times, reduced seating and much less comfort.


College Avenue


Theresa May ‘best MP in many, many years’

For the avoidance of doubt I need to clarify my situation regarding the letter the Advertiser published for me last week (Viewpoint, November 21).

I have not as yet left the Conservative Party and until a party comes along that promotes more of my ideals and promises to deliver them then I will still consider myself to be a Conservative at heart.

Irrespective of this, after studying the form, as it were, regarding the potential election of the next Maidenhead member of Parliament there is, according to my way of thinking, no contest as Theresa May is the only feasible contestant.

Theresa May for all her faults hasbeen the best MP we have had in many, many years.

Along with holding the highest office in the land she has constantly been here for her residents.

Very few ordinary MPs have put the effort into local considerations that our Member of Parliament has along with carrying out and presiding as the Prime Minister.

Politics aside it’s time for the people of Maidenhead to take stock of what is proposed for our town and if they are not happy with the proposals then speak now or forever hold your peace, as the saying goes, because when all the open space has gone, replaced by high rise blocks of apartments, it’s then too late.

When the town is gridlocked and the services you need are even sparser than they are now remember you had the chance to say what you think and want but decided not to bother

I am going to repeat what I put in my letter last week but did not get published...

The council members were elected by and have agreed to represent the residents of Maidenhead who live here in this town now.

The council members were not elected to represent either developers or persons who might like to live in Maidenhead if it be at the expense of the people who already do.


Councillor for Furze Platt ward

May 2011-May 2019

Days Gone By book is a great Santa present

My eldest daughter managed to track down a copy of Days Gone By, as I had tried a couple of stockists without success.

It must be selling well!

As Maidenhead changes, there are some amazing photos of events in Maidenhead but I think my favourite is the Michael Parkinson's celebrity line up for the 1990 cricket match featuring George Best.

The publication also has a fascinating story of the Baylis Trust and the Advertiser itself well documented by Martin Trepte who featured in the Advertiser's development over many years.

A bit big for a stocking filler but if you can find one a great Santa present.


East Road


Make your views on the Local Plan known

The Royal Borough is currently consulting with residents on a wide range of proposed changes to the Borough Local Plan.

The consultation runs from Friday, November 1 until midnight on Sunday, December 15.

Overall, after a preliminary review, RBWM Residents Action Group (RRAG) thinks that the proposed changes will make for a better plan.

It is clear that the Royal Borough has taken on board many of the issues we raised previously e.g. there is now a much better policy on affordable housing and policies make allowances for the role played by neighbourhood plans. 

This is all good news BUT there are still some issues that cause us concern, such as:

  • Air pollution
  • Noise pollution
  • Traffic congestion
  • Density of development in many areas
  • Protection of the greenbelt
  • Flooding

Of course RRAG will be submitting a response to the consultation to let the Borough know what we think of the proposed changes – and we encourage you to do so as well.

Please write to the council setting outyour views, and wherever possible, giving local examples of how issues affect you and your family.

You can submit your comments in different ways depending on what is easiest for you.

RBWM Residents Action Group (RRAG) steering group

Pity councillors didn’t honour the fallen

Along with hundreds of other residents I attended the remembrance ceremony outside the Town Hall on Sunday, November 10.

What a pity many of our borough councillors couldn't be bothered to turn up and pay their respects to those who gave their lives to preserve freedom and democracy.

They know who they are.

Last year the Royal Borough put up large poppies throughout the town centre. They didn’t appear this year.

Perhaps the Royal Borough would like to explain why and also advise whether or not attendance allowance is paid for borough councillors putting in an appearance at this civic ceremony.

Lest we forget.


Collier Close


Reindeer will be dashing to Devine hospice

An advance notice to encourage others to take part in; ‘Do a daily December dash for your local hospice services’.

I, Paul Farmer, of soundish mind, pledge to dash for Devine for at least one hour every day throughout December and on Monday, December 23 pledge to dash (or at least stride) from Reading’s All Saints’ Church, Downshire Square, at 10.30am to the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, Woodlands Park Avenue, dressed as a Christmas reindeer to raise vital funds to help open its overnight stay beds.

The hospice relies solely on the support and generosity of local communities and individuals.

There are currently over 600 under16-year-olds in the Berkshire area suffering from life threatening conditions.

The Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service currently funds Berkshire’s only specialist children’s palliative community care nursing, play teams and day care services, currently offering specialist end of life care to over 120 families in the community.

Donations can be made via the giving page: or by calling 01628 822777.

Since 2007 I have raised £56,000 for local charities including £22,000 for the Duchess of Kent Hospice and £14,000 for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Services.


Wensley Road


‘Dismal standards of honesty’ from PM

In the year to March 31, 2019 net migration from the EU was only 21 per cent. When PM Boris Johnson was asked the question on BBC Breakfast, he admitted he did not know but guessed it was 50 per cent.

This means we were able to control79 per cent of immigration and shows that membership of the EU does not have such a significant impact on immigration.

In a response to what would he would do for small businesses, he said that whenwe left the EU we will be able to cut therate of VAT, which he said we cannot do under EU rules.

In fact the EU law states we can reduce the VAT rate to 15 per cent.

This shows Boris Johnson and the Conservatives are setting dismal standards of honesty.


Liberal Democrat

Cox Green Lane


Why no movement on Liechtenstein proposal?

The heading given to the November 14 letter from Phil Jones of the federalist European Movement, ‘Irish border differs from Schengen Area’, accurately reflects his confusion.

The Schengen arrangements relate to the movement of people across borders, not to the movement of goods.

The UK and Ireland are not part of thatEU inspired scheme because they had established a Common Travel Area in 1923, long before both joined the then EEC in 1973.

This is acknowledged in Protocol 20 attached to the present EU treaties, and it has already been agreed that the current arrangements will continue.

The ‘Liechtenstein’ solution proposed to keep the Irish land border as open as now for the movement of goods, as well as people, was described in an article published in the Financial Times on May 10, 2018, still available on the internet, when it was specifically stated:

“One senior Whitehall official describedit as ‘a very interesting idea’, with relevance to the effort to avoid a hard NorthernIreland border.

“It is a good answer in theory,” said the official. “We need to look at how it would work in practice.”

On October 25, 2018 the Advertiser printed a letter pointing this out, which concluded:

“That was five months ago; so why have we heard nothing since then?”

And it is now eighteen months, and we still have no answer; instead we have a crackpot scheme which puts the integrity of the country at risk.

Dr D R Cooper

Belmont Park Avenue 


‘Vote for me and things will get better’

The politician said ‘vote for me & things will get better ‘.

I accepted the offer and voted.

Politician got elected. Things got worse.

Who do I turn to for redress in this breach of contract situation?


Forlease Drive


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