ANGRY residents demand revamp of vital footpath that’s used as a shortcut to Maidenhead town centre to be completed as soon as possible.

The alleyway that provides a link between Kings Grove Road and Grenfell Road will be closed until July 24 while works to improve the path, as well as a new name, is underway.

This temporary closure by St Mary’s councillor Gurch Singh (Lib Dem) and is redeveloping land to the rear of 129-131 Grenfell Road into four eco-friendly homes.

Since the closure in April, residents have voiced their anger over the long closure period as well as some saying they were ‘unaware’ this vital link would be shut off to the public.

Side from Grenfell Road

Side from Grenfell Road

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Conservative voter and St Mary’s resident, Alexander Cobb, has launched a petition calling for the council to re-open the alleyway as soon as possible as it has caused ‘inconvenience’ to residents, especially elderly and vulnerable people, who use this access route.

They now have to trek uphill and go round Kings Grove Road to get to town.

The alleyway before works were undertaken

The alleyway before works were undertaken

Mr Cobb also raised questions over a conflict of interest from Cllr Singh as he is the private developer of the redevelopment and closed the footpath to ‘suit’ him as a business owner, using his privilege as a councillor.

In response, Cllr Singh said he is aware this diversion has inconvenienced people, but it won’t be permanent and is working to getting it back open as soon as possible.

He said: “The safety of residents will always be our number one priority. In agreement with the council as part of the construction management plan, it was agreed the safest possible way to deliver the homes is to temporarily stop up the footpath.

“The closure will not be permanent, and we are working hard to get the footpath back open as soon as possible.

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“We have managed to pull back some slippage in the building programme and compress the timeline significantly but will push to do more to get the footpath open.”

A council spokesman added: “This is a temporary highway closure which, in accordance with standard and proper practice, was advertised twice by the council in the Maidenhead Advertiser.

“The notices explained the purpose of the order, which is to facilitate development works, and stated the duration of the scheme. They also included contact details for the applicant, should anyone have any queries.”

Following a month long public consultation with residents, Cllr Singh also said the name change of the alleyway to Valley Walk has been supported by residents at no cost to the public purse.