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Skate Park Update

November 2001

Two meetings have taken place in the past three months (August and October) at Vansittart Road Recreation Ground between local residents and Sean Kearns of The Royal Borough regarding the Skate Park. Certain minor and cosmetic improvements were discussed, and to some extent implemented, although these changes do nothing to ease residents' concerns over the Skate Park installation itself.

Posts have been installed at the northern end of the lane with the intention of stopping cars from driving to the car parking area after dark. The central post is intended to be installed and removed on a daily basis by a Borough contractor. The centre post is padlocked to the post at the side of the road in the picture below. This exercise is also supposed to include the chaining of the skate park ramps themselves to prevent their use at night. Needless to say neither the chaining of the ramps, nor the installation of the roadway centrepost is always done each night and, in any event, not all the ramps can be successfully chained anyway.

One night the left (eastern) pole, which is intended to be permanent, had actually been lifted off its mounting and thrown in the hedge. Lifting the post from its mount is very easy, the tossing into the hedge takes rather more effort. As it is the one to which the centre pole is attached during 'open' hours, the whole effect and security of the posts is somewhat defeated.

Posts installed in skate park access road

Also in this area, we have new poles to the left of the entrance gate, in the muddy area, then a locked vehicle access gate, with a surfaced roadway, then another muddy area, with an old and bent post still in place.

The two muddy parts are of course where pedestrians are required to walk!


The promised CCTV has not materialised, and the graffiti that has been increasing in the underpass all year, has now, in the past week, reached disgraceful proportions. The matter has been reported yet again to the Borough 'Graffiti Line'. (19/11/01)


The underpass beside the Skate Park is a disgrace and gives the lie to claims that the Borough are making a determined effort to fight graffiti. Several reports have appeared in the press about how this vandalism was going to be stamped out... as we feared all along, it was mere rhetoric... the Borough are making no inroads into the problem whatsoever, much to the dismay and irritation of residents. The many occurrences of graffiti illustrated below have been constantly added to throughout 2001.

Vansittart Road Underpass (Goslar Way)
Above photo was taken on 13th November
Six days later, on the 19th, the same area looked like this - see below

A Million for The Leisure Centre?

On Friday 2nd November, the following letter was published in The Windsor Observer

Spare millions must include skate park move*

I note from your report £1.1m facelift for sports centre?, October 26th 2001, that our local council have plans to extend the Leisure Centre health and fitness areas, the creche, provide a bigger 'rehearsal studio' and 'more flexible services' generally. Residents around Vansittart Road Skate Park are of the view that in order to meet the council's claim to be keeping the Leisure Centre 'ahead in the fitness and family leisure business', they must also include in their plans the transfer of the Vansittart Road Skate Park facility to the Leisure Centre as well.
Local residents have been calling for just such a move ever since the skate park opened last May. Endless noise and other disturbances, instances of totally unacceptable and anti-social behaviour, a number of accidents, quite apart from a significant increase in graffiti and other damage, have all combined to cause much annoyance and even distress to those who live nearby, especially where the elderly are concerned, living as they do within yards of the skate area.
With the death of a teenage skate boarder at an unsupervised park on Hayling Island in the summer, it is plain that a skate park is as potentially dangerous as a swimming pool and requires similar full-time supervision. As part of the Leisure Centre complex all essential support services could and should be economically provided, at the same time removing the 'industrial strength' structures that are the current skate park from on top of the colourful swings, slides and roundabouts provided for the very young.

* The Observer changed this headline to "Dangers of Skate Park"

Goslar Way Fencing

Access to the Skate Park is often from Green Lane, on the other side of the dual carriageway, Goslar Way, which is a derestricted section of road linking Osborne Road with Clarence Road roundabout and the bridge across the river to Slough. Traffic travels at high speed past this point, yet the fence, originally broken down in June, was not repaired until mid-November. Within days it was broken down again!! The reason is simple. Skate Park users cannot be bothered to take the slightly longer route through the underpass and are prepared to take the riskier route across the dual carriageway.

It astonishes local residents that the Borough waste so much public money on 'repairs' that need redoing almost immediately because no thought was put in to working out what was actually required. A flimsy wooden fence was bound to be destroyed instantly in these circumstances. It took FIVE months to implement this repair, a long time to permit children to run across a high-speed dual carriageway.

The broken fence in June 2001

Repaired in November... broken down within days.
Since this photograph was taken the broken down panel
is now well and truly smashed up.


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