Transport and Infrastructure was highlighted as of equal importance to Housing and Green Belt in the Residents Survey; indeed the road ‘infrastructure’ should move in tandem with the growth in housing and the structure of the Royal Borough. It has not done so in the past 40 years or so, and the Bray Plan creates the opportunity to address the long term issues.
There is too much transit traffic in the Parish using the key roads that act as the spine of the area; the A330 and A308. The Holyport Road/ Upper Bray Road complete the real traffic problems. To the future – say beyond five years – we have the Kings Triangle, Crossrail, massive housing development in the Bracknell area, motorway improvements all drawing more traffic through the Parish etc.
On top of that ‘we’ have our own local problems borne out of no improvements in the past 30 years or so, for example:
- there have been several score houses built just off the Windsor Road
- industrial expansion at Priors Way
- tourism/hospitality expansion notably in Bray Village and Windsor
- general increase in car transportation with limited / negligible alternative in respect of public transport.
Locally, there are more pressing matters such as traffic around the in-demand and expanding schools but these are ongoing and not seen as long term; work on such traffic management should be underway now and amended with subsequent growth. However, issues such as the need (for safety reasons alone) to cross the A308 are included!
Future increase in housing in the Parish in the next decade is restricted by geophysical constraints and policy – and hence minimal, and planned to be at the Western side of the Parish. Still, Windsor Road will have to be amended and efforts to limit traffic growth on the key roads is therefore the major objective. As such we are supporting any Local Enterprise Partnership to link the M40 through the M4 to the M3 in an effort to limit transit traffic through the Villages. We are looking for an integrated transport system to facilitate Crossrail/FGW for the local residents, be it through expanded parking and/or better bus services to Maidenhead and Windsor Stations. Local traffic issues such as:
- pollution under the M4 bridge
- traffic flow along the A308/A330 and through Bray Village – including parking
are also part of the plan, as sticking plaster will not solve anything in the long term.
We are mindful of the Green Belt but equally cannot hide from the issue that the improved motorway structure, the need for hospitals/schools as part of the infrastructure to serve an older community- location is critical-, the proximity to- and what is happening there- Reading and Slough etc will also drive the end product. Development has a price !
The major problem we have is that infrastructure costs a great deal – mainly Central Government expenditure – whereas Green Belt and Housing do not! Although we work in tandem, we are at the behest of the RBWM and their Local Plan, but primarily will only incorporate in the final product what the local residents want. Bray Parish has to keep moving.
We have also looked closely at pedestrian and cycling issues; even bridleways and horse riding have to be considered and will be part of the Plan.
Finally, although mindful of them, what we are not doing is considering issues such as utilities and mineral extraction as these are outside our ‘control’.