01:08PM, Friday 29 March 2019
Work is due to start next week on the controversial ‘sustainable travel scheme’ on the A4 Bath Road.
The £2.2m project will see a shared footpath and cycleway built from the Taplow side of Maidenhead Bridge, 1.8-miles along the A4 to Burnham, to encourage more people to walk or cycle to and from rail stations served by Crossrail.
The scheme has been in the pipeline since 2016, when an initial public consultation was held.
Cllr Mark Shaw (Con, Chesham), Bucks County Council cabinet member for transport, gave the project the green light in December 2017 and advanced installation of seven bus shelters and real-time passenger information was implemented in November last year.
The project is due to take 32 weeks, and is expected to be completed in November.
From Monday, utility companies will realign cables and ducts, ready for Transport for Bucks to start construction work in three weeks, when they will widen the footpath and upgrade pedestrian crossings.
While utility work is underway, temporary lights will control traffic at various points along the Bath Road between 9.30am and 3.30pm.
Since the scheme’s initial public consultation, plans have been modified in response to residents’ feedback, including concerns about a proposed right turn ban at the Bath Road junction with Berry Hill.
Cllr Shaw said: “We have listened to residents’ con-cerns and made as many modifications as we can within the budget and with-in safety standards. I’m confident this scheme will be a strong support to our sustainable travel aspirations.
“I appreciate the work may cause some inconvenience, and I apologise in advance. However I believe the short-term pain will be worth the long-term gain.”
Opposers to the scheme include fellow Conservative councillor Dev Dhillon (Con, Cliveden), who fears it could pose a danger to road users.
“I believe in a good health, but how many people are going to use that footpath where you have got the A4 full of fumes?” he said.
“It will not be an increase [in cyclists] that will make sense of spending that money. There are more than 100 properties where they have entrances and exits on the cycle scheme. There is a safety concern.”
The scheme is being funded by the Government through Bucks Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, developer contributions and the county council’s capital maintenance programme.
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