Skate Park Update
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
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
Posts installed in skate park access
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
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
Above photo was taken on 13th November
Six days later, on the 19th, the same area looked like this -
A Million for The Leisure
On Friday 2nd November, the following letter
was published in The Windsor Observer
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
* 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.