11:16PM, Sunday 03 October 2021
Scores of people showed up for a meeting in Bray to discuss residents’ strong concerns about traffic in the area.
Last Wednesday, Bray Village Traffic Action Group hosted the meeting to address the width, speed and weight of vehicles travelling though some key streets in Bray.
The meeting took place in the River Room of Maidenhead & Bray Cricket Club. A large venue, it was packed with people standing at the back and spread onto the patio.
“I have never seen such passion. We have got young people, older people from every corner of the village,” said group member and meeting facilitator Fiona Allen.
“We have since had emails and phone calls daily. Everyone wants to know what happens next and when there’s going to be another meeting.”
Residents recounted stories of property damage caused by over-wide vehicles squeezing past, the lack of pavement near Braywick Court primary school and the effect of noise pollution on businesses and residential areas.
Some problematic sites include ‘dangerous’ fast roads and cut-throughs along the throat of Bray, including Monkey Island Lane and along the High Street.
Residents claimed to have suffered property damage from collisions or excessive water splash, while others said they had witnessed altercations breaking out on the street between tense drivers.
“When I got a cottage in Bray, after about five days it was run into by a truck,” said Fiona.
“I asked around the village and was told everyone has had issues like that.
“It never seems to stop. The more Maidenhead is developed, the more traffic is pushing through,” she added.
“The whole village is fed up, everyone has been upset for years. Everyone has just absolutely had enough of not being listened to.
“Our impression up to now is that certain councillors have a ‘nothing can be done’ attitude and we would like to change that. Now I think the council realise we mean business.”
Though ward councillors David Coppinger and Leo Walters (both Con) were unable to go to the meeting, Cllrs Geoff Hill and Helen Taylor (both TBF, Oldfield) attended.
Cllr Hill said: “Bray’s traffic is our traffic, a few miles sooner, so we’re acting pre-emptively.
“Bray village has turned into a rat-run and we need some serious measures to be introduced.”
MP Theresa May has also expressed an interest in the issue.
She said: “Although I was not able to attend this meeting in person, I am aware of the strength of local feeling on this issue and I have been corresponding regularly with constituents who are members of the Bray Traffic Action Group.
“My office has liaised with both the RBWM and Thames Valley Police to raise this matter directly with the key decision makers and these discussions are still ongoing”.
Cllr Walters said that he has been making attempts to stop too much greenbelt land from being developed to try to lessen the impact of future traffic.
“One problem is that restrictions aren’t being enforced,” he said.
“The highways department and Project Centre are looking into it but so far there are no results. We know of the problem and if we can solve it, we will.”
A student from Maidenhead who suspects she was spiked with a needle on a night out after waking up in hospital the next day has urged people to report similar incidents to the police.