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Controversial Bath Road cycle scheme gets green light

A controversial new travel scheme took a step closer on Monday after Bucks Council Council’s cabinet member for transport Mark Shaw (Con, Chesham) approved the project, subject to confirmation of funding.

The £1.8 million scheme includes a 1.8- mile shared footway and cycleway along the A4 Bath Road, and electronic real-time passenger information installed at seven bus stops along the route.

The scheme would connect with national and local cycle networks, give bus passengers up-to-the-minute information about their connections, and encourage more people to walk or cycle to Taplow railway station.

The station saw a 5.6 per cent rise in users last year and the scheme will help minimise the effect of further increases in passenger numbers using new Crossrail trains when they start in 2019.

Since the scheme’s initial public consultation in autumn 2016, plans have been modified in response to residents concerns about a proposed right-turn ban at the Bath Road junction with Berry Hill, and the use by cyclists of the proposed 7ft wide footway and cycleway under the Bath Road railway bridge.

“We’ve listened to residents’ concerns and we’ve made as many modifications as we can within the budget and within safety standards,” said Cllr Shaw, the county council’s deputy leader.

A Freedom of Information request made by the Advertiser earlier in the year revealed £300,000 has already been spent on the delayed scheme.

The sustainable travel scheme has been given £1.542 million of ring-fenced Government local growth funding through Buckinghamshire Tha-mes Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.

Added to this is a ring-fenced contribution of nearly £188,000 from the developers of the Bishop Centre for the connection of the existing cycle routes east and west of the shopping centre.

Not all councillors are in favour of the scheme. Cllr Dev Dhillon (Con, Cliveden) said: “My concern is that it’s not going to deliver what it says it is. It’s against the wishes of myself and my resi-dents.”

Work is due to start next summer and be completed in spring 2019.

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