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£300k spent on delayed A4 cycle path labelled a 'scandalous waste of public money'

A freedom of Information request has revealed Bucks County Council (BCC) has so far spent just over £300,000 on the delayed A4 Bath Road cycle path – leading a resident to brand it a ‘scandalous waste of public money’.

Sally Bryant and her husband Owen originally opposed the route which is part of BCC’s proposed Bath Road Sustainable Travel Scheme, and described the plans as ‘hazardous’ as it meant they would have to reverse out of their drive and into the proposed path.

It will let cyclists travel along a single route from Taplow train station, past the Mill Lane development and Bishop Centre to Slough train station.

Mrs Bryant disagrees with putting the path on the north side of Bath Road because it is the more populated side of the road.

The couple say more people will be pulling out in their cars, which will be dangerous for cyclists.

Mrs Bryant, 67, said: “I am in total shock that over £300,000 so far has been thrown away on this completely misguided and flawed exercise.

“Surely council tax payers’ hard-earned money could be so much better spent on repairing the basic infrastructure of the area. In my view, BCC has been irresponsibly profligate and is guilty of a scandalous waste of public money.”

Mark Shaw, cabinet member for transport, said: “The A4 Bath Road shared footway and cycle path is being reviewed with the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) following the response to last autumn’s public consultation.

“Although no firm date has been agreed for design and construction, some work linked to the main scheme is being done.

“This includes real time passenger information installation at some bus stops, a new bus shelter, and junction work where Berry Hill meets the A4.”

The cost of the scheme will be met from a £1.5 million Local Growth Fund first round grant, through BTVLEP, and developer contributions of £190,000, providing the project is finished by March 2021.

The FOI was submitted by the Advertiser.

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  • Pursuer

    21:09, 13 April 2017

    @userper. In my book Department of Transport is public funding & the National Lottery gets its money from the public. Re the cycle track/shared facility I can say with certainty that the one constructed west of Maidenhead on the South side of the A4 is rarely used- I know I live with a clear view- perhaps a dozen users a day at most. Cyclists use the facility on the North side, including the areas which are Marked as 'No Cycling'.. On a number of occasions neighbours & I have nearly been run down by cyclists travelling at significant speeds & been sworn at for daring to impede these arrogant mis-users of footpaths.Indeed one Borough Councillor to my knowledge was sworn at vehemently & threatened for pointing out to a cyclist that he was riding on a footpath. As for common sense and self protection when using the roads it is a good idea to ride in the direction of the required traffic flow, observe red signal traffic lights, realise that large vehicles often cannot see anything on their nearside, riding in dark clothing without any lighting makes a cyclist almost invisible, etc etc. If cyclists used facilities sensibly then special tracks might be worthwhile, but misbehaviour is a guaranteed precursor to danger. Yes I drive a car, I have a bike & high-viz clothing and I used to ride a motor bike so I understand the road.

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  • Honestjim

    22:10, 11 April 2017

    I have to say you are both right and wrong. The stupidity of this project is beyond belief and i am a cyclist. Under the silly plans you are expected to cross the road five times between maidenhead bridge and sainsburys. That's not safe for children or adults. They have no idea how many people use the current lanes in Burnham Lane and have not compared any other cycling projects to see if the usage will make it work. Sadly it will not reduce traffic but it will be the biggest waste of money since the last silly idea from Buckingham County Council and insanity bridgade working there. There will be lots of trees cut down and grass verges paved over so its not a green project either. The only reason this project is going ahead is because it secures the crossrail project and the finances that come with it.

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  • Usurper

    15:03, 31 March 2017

    @Pursuer - I just wanted to pick up on a couple of points in your rather ill-informed comment/rant below. 1 - The primary goal of schemes - such as the one mentioned above - are to promote cycling as alternative method of transport for the residents of this borough. It is a healthy, cost-effective & carbon-neutral method of transport. I can't understand why the NIMBY's in the article above do not wish to reduce the noise and pollution caused by the hideous amounts of traffic that builds up along the A4 during peak times? 2 - Your point about the cause cycling fatalities in London has no relevance to this article, and is disrespectful to those that lost their lives in such tragedies. At the moment, the cycle infrastructure in the borough is not good enough (hence the need for cyclists to use the roads) so I applaud the council's attempts to provide the type of infrastructure that is designed to provide better safety for cyclists. It's not just commuters either, i'm sure parents would welcome such infrastructure for their children cycling to school. 3 - Sustrans is not 'centrally funded' it gets grants from the National Lottery, as well as donations from supporters. 4 - Whilst I have not had any experience of the RWBM council consultation process, I am certain that as a local government body they are required by law to ensure that the process is carried out in accordance to all current planning regulations. Yours Respectfully, 'A so-called Cycling Crusader'

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