05:50PM, Thursday 09 July 2020
A second petition has now been created to 'abolish the Bath Road bus lane' which residents fear may make their lives a misery if the trial scheme is made permanent.
The temporary bus and cycle lane was created by Slough Borough Council after it secured £180,000 from the Department for Transport to ‘support a green restart to local travel’.
The lane, which cost about £50,000, runs the length of the A4 from Huntercombe Spur to Uxbridge Road but has received criticism for causing long tailbacks on the town’s main arterial road.
A petition launched on Change.org by Chance Meikle-Masters garnered more than 6,000 signatures urging the council to abolish the six-month trial scheme.
But a subsequent petition has now been set up on the council’s website following fears the local authority would not accept the original one due to it coming from a third party website.
Graham Berridge, founder of the second petition, said: “We have Europe’s biggest trading estate for people and all of a sudden drivers are going to have their lives made a misery by being stuck in traffic.
“I just look at it and think nobody has thought what this will do to the area.”
The Cippenham resident also raised concerns the bus lane will cause tailbacks to junctions 6 and 7 on the M4 and pose safety risks when cars need to turn across the lane.
Conservative councillor Dexter Smith (Con, Colnbrook with Poyle) said the scheme had been ‘poorly thought out’ as public transport use had significantly dropped since the COVID-19 crisis.
He added increased road capacity was needed to deal with the town’s growing population.
Cllr Rob Anderson, cabinet member for transport, said the scheme was brought in to get cyclists off the pavement and to comply with social distancing.
He said it needed to be given time to see if it works and added the fact it was an ‘experimental order’ meant changes could be made if necessary.
“At the moment the road is dominated by private cars and it’s not like it was a free-flowing paradise before lockdown,” the Labour councillor said.
“Even for the people that keep driving, it’s in their interests that people start using public transport more.”
A council spokeswoman said the council could accept a petition from a third party website but any petition must include the names, addresses and places of work of each signatory.
The council can also only accept one petition on the same subject.
Visit www.slough.gov.uk/moderngov/mgEpetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=65&RPID=3154723&HPID to view the latest petition on the council’s website.
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