A PETITION with more than 1,400 signatures calling for council support for ambitious plans to transform the region’s rail network has been submitted.

George Bathurst, the man behind the Windsor Link Railway (WLR) project and also a Royal Borough councillor, submitted two petitions with 1,423 signatures to a Royal Borough full council meeting on Tuesday last week calling for the council to support the scheme in principle.

The aim of the scheme is to connect Windsor’s two train stations via an underground tunnel, which would connect Slough to Staines, via Windsor.

Speaking at the meeting at the Guildhall, in High Street, Windsor, Mr Bathurst said: “By asking for support, WLR is not asking for money. We are not asking to circumvent proper planning procedures. You are not being asked to approve anything, but merely to say that you are sufficiently interested to warrant further investigation. “And I am asking for your help in public so there can be no accusations of secret deals. What we really need is your active assistance making the transport case, officer time and goodwill.” Mr Bathurst estimates the scheme would save Royal Borough residents a million hours a year in travel time and take 7,000 cars a day off roads in the borough.

The matter will be discussed at the next full council meeting in February.

The WLR already has support from Network Rail and South West Trains for the scheme and Mr Bathurst hopes to enter into pre-planning discussions with the Royal Borough.

Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Windsorobserver and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/windsorobserver