1. Could the line re-open?
2. Is the route still there?
3. Is there an alternative?
1. Could the route re-open?
To answer this question you need to pose another. SHOULD the route re-open? The answer is yes. Demand
for public transport is growing and the roads are getting more and more congested. Building more roads is not the answer, why build
a road to allow more cars with single occupancy to join ever increasing queues at the bottlenecks? The answer is simple, cost effective,
cheap, reliable public transport that can convey people from one urban centre to another. One that will link communities and
provide a service that is usable throughout the day and not just at peak times. A timetable that fits our lives, not the other way
Crossrail is coming. Maidenhead has been chosen as the western terminus, making a direct rail link more of a realistic
option and more of a benefit then ever before. The line was closed prematurely in the first place, more thought for the future would
have proved it's usefulness. Proper traffic census reports would have indicated the steady rise in the number of vehicles using
the local roads and this data should have been used to estimate the number of cars in the future and the roads required to take them.
There is a finite number of roads you can build in an urban area without reverting to demolition of property to gain the required
space. With a rail network, you add another coach. Much more simple and effective.
2. Is the route still there?
If you measure the amount of the route still there by the old trackbed, then there is
around 90% of it left, and available to use. It's the 10% that presents the problem. It should be noted that these Google Earth
images are dated 2003. A proper survey would need to take place.
Princess Gate has been built over the old trackbed and provides access for a large number of properties. An ultra light railway does
not require a great deal of room. I believe it could be accommodated within the existing infrastructure.
Wilton Court would present the first significant obstacle. There has been construction of residential properties and a large incursion
into the old trackbed from the properties along the route. Did the residents purchase the land or was it claimed?
The incursion of gardens onto the old trackbed would need to be addressed.
These property developments at Bridge Bank Close are on the old trackbed. One of the abutments of the original bridge forms the base
of a retaining wall.
The business park built on the site of Loudwater station would need to be demolished to make way for a station and possibly
a nice plaza area and bus stop. This would have to happen as the tunnel under the M40 would be needed again and this is the access
route for it. It would also enhance the beauty of the area.
Please note, this is my opinion only and not a formal strategy of events