The man who came up with the controversial idea for the Windsor Link Railway, George Bathurst, has defended the project from public criticism, saying that it is ‘misunderstood’, has strong public backing and is a chance for the town to create a lasting legacy.

The project has drawn opposition from residents’ groups in Windsor who have previously claimed the project would bring only disruption, without providing any benefits.

Calls to have the project discussed at a Windsor Town Forum meeting at the end of October were not heeded by Royal Borough councillors, leading to anger among those who are against the project.

However, Mr Bathurst has said those people who are not in favour of the project are simply not understanding its aims.

He said: “It depends who you speak to, but from surveys and questionnaires, we see the project as having strong public backing, somewhere between 70 and 90 per cent. We were out in Peascod Street last weekend and out of around 100 people surveyed, 85 per cent were in favour.

“People don’t understand what the project is. We’re talking £370m of infrastructure without having to tax anyone.”

Mr Bathurst said that the plan, which involves the current two Windsor stations being connected together and made into a single station, was this generation’s opportunity to create a legacy for the benefit of the town.

He said: “We are aiming to leave a legacy.Are we going to be the generation that really improved things or are we a generation that just allowed things to get worse?

“It’s not about making small improvements that don’t help the future, it’s about making comprehensive changes that provide real benefits to all sections of society.

“Currently people visit Windsor almost exclusively by coach. We have an amazing town, with a beautiful castle, but the experience of coming here is frankly a national embarrasment.

“Our plan provides more homes, more traffic calming measures and more parking that would make it easier for people to come in and out of the town and spend more time, and in turn money, here.”

Another criticism aimed at Mr Bathurst is that the project is simply a way for him to profit. He responded to those criticisms by suggesting that he would be better off by taking a normal job.

He said: “I would be earning one per cent of this. It would be less than if I just got a normal job.

“This is a project for the future and we will all be dead by the time it’s finished. Anyone talking about profit is looking at it at the wrong scale.”