Essential refurbishment of a footbridge, which will enhance the sense of welcome into Windsor town centre, will now completely avoid the Christmas trading period to help the local business community.
After listening to concerns, the Royal Borough has split these important works into two phases – with no scaffolding or bridge closure happening during phase one, due to start on Monday 2 October and last around eight weeks.
Phase one will focus solely on refurbishing the bridge lifts and will start with a site compound being set up in a small area of the Coach Park. The bridge will remain open to the public via its steps, however the lifts will be unavailable. Signposted alternative routes and lift access will be in place from the Coach Park to the town centre and castle for those who would usually use the lifts.
After a break for Christmas trading, the ambition is to start phase two in the New Year and works will continue for around 17 weeks in order to maintain the bridge and enhance the sense of arrival into Windsor.
Phase two will comprise the cleaning and repainting of the steel structure, preventative maintenance and anti-corrosion works, installation of new bridge lighting, cleaning the Perspex canopy and applying a mirror film to the underside of the canopy.
During phase two, the bridge will need to be fully closed to the public and encapsulated in scaffolding due to its proximity to a working railway platform. Access to businesses will be maintained throughout, and signs will be in place showing alternative walking routes.
Councillor Amy Tisi, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and Windsor, said: “Thank you to the businesses that have brought this to my attention. I immediately asked officers to review the works programme to make sure we could support our businesses. The officers have devised a practical workable solution which will allow the required improvements to happen in a timely manner, while avoiding the busy Christmas trading period and any scaffolding and bridge closure during this period.
“This, I’m sure, will be welcome news for the business community and I’d like to thank everyone for their useful feedback. The footbridge is a key gateway into Windsor, and the council is required to repair and maintain it under a lease with Network Rail. While there’s never an ideal time to complete such works, this scheme is vital as the bridge has not been maintained for many years and it is important it is completed before further deterioration. We continue to be a Cabinet that listens to residents.”