Project completed to improve visitor experience and pedestrian safety in Castle Hill, Windsor

Work has been completed to improve the overall experience and safety of residents and visitors in Windsor town centre, on behalf of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

Castle Hill 3.jpg
Castle Hill 3.jpg

The public realm improvements in Castle Hill and St Alban’s Street, delivered by VolkerHighways, have seen Castle Hill partially pedestrianised with a wider pavement on the southern (shops) side of the road. There has also been a significant reduction in vehicle movements where this is limited to castle access only during its visiting hours.

This will improve the visitor experience to this area of town, helping to drive economic growth and spend, as well as provide additional safety benefits. The majority of funding for the project has come from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), as well as developer contributions.

Castle Hill 4.png

A protective gate has been installed behind the Queen Victoria statue to aid pedestrian safety, and bollards have also been installed at the end of St Alban’s Street with its junction with Castle Hill, with two-way vehicle access from the junction with Park Street.

These improvements will make the area more enjoyable and accessible for both residents and visitors as the work has included elements such as new dropped kerbs and raised tables to improve accessibility for those with mobility difficulties.

The year-long project was delivered in phases in order to minimise disruption as much as possible, with businesses and residents kept updated throughout the project. Access to businesses has been maintained with work taking place outside of opening hours where necessary.

Other elements of the project have included retaining, cleaning and repairing the existing Yorkstone pavement on the northern (castle) side of Castle Hill and replacing the road surface with a granite block finish and pedestrian walkways either side of the carriageway down St Alban’s Street. There are also crossing points to the castle visitor entrance at the junction of Castle Hill and St Alban’s Street and another at the junction of Church Lane and St Alban’s Street to the castle learning centre.

Councillor Geoff Hill, Cabinet Member for highways and transport, said: “This project has transformed Castle Hill into a pedestrian first zone, helping to improve safety and make the area more accessible for those on foot, as well as driving growth in our local economy. We know that this area can be busy with pedestrians crossing, particularly during the peak summer tourist season, and that the previous pavements were narrow, and this scheme is a vast improvement.”

Alison Webster, Chief Executive Officer at Berkshire LEP, said: “The series of improvements around Castle Hill and St Alban’s Street have made the area more pleasant for residents and visitors alike by expanding the pedestrian area and relieving congestion. These improvements, to which the LEP contributed just over £1.5 million of the Government’s Local Growth Fund, will enhance economic growth, managing the higher number of visitors to Windsor Castle which has a positive impact on the town’s vibrant retail and hospitality businesses as well as the increased use of street cafes.”

Kunle Kolaru, Operations Director for VolkerHighways, said: “We are delighted to have completed this very prestigious scheme for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. Being in the shadow of Windsor Castle, the scheme demanded a high degree of expertise and planning to accommodate high-profile events throughout the duration of the project. We are proud to see our works help to improve safety and accessibility of Windsor for both visitors and locals alike.”