Concerns over proposed bus gate in Shoppenhangers Road

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams
Concerns over proposed bus gate in Shoppenhangers Road

Residents have raised concerns over a council proposal to put a bus gate in Shoppenhangers Road to stop car drivers using the stretch as a 'rat run'.

The gate, which would be installed near the junction with Ludlow Road, would mean only buses, taxis and emergency vehicles could use the road for through journeys between Braywick Road and Larchfield.

The aim is to prevent people from using the area as a cut-through to avoid main roads. The bus gate will still allow access for people walking and cycling.

People would still be able to drive to access their homes and amenities.

The proposal is part of a range of active travel projects being funded by £335,000 from the Department for Transport (DfT).

In its proposal, the Royal Borough wrote: “Reduced through-traffic on residential and school streets will provide safer spaces for cycling and walking whilst maintaining social distancing, as well as lowering noise and air pollution.

“We want to make your area more pleasant to use, encouraging a shift towards more active and sustainable travel where possible.

“We appreciate they may cause some short-term disruption but believe the long-term benefits outweigh any disadvantages.”

However many residents have responded poorly to the proposal, calling it ‘madness’.

One fear is that it will increase congestion in other roads – and will extend the overall driving time, contrary to the environmentally-friendly intention behind the plan.

Another often repeated concern has highlighted the possible increased danger for cyclists from an increase in traffic on the alternative route on nearby Harvest Hill.

Councillor Gurch Singh was among those who voiced concern that the bus gate will be used to fine motorists who break the rules – and thus generate money for the council.

In a letter to Cllr Gerry Clark, lead member for transport and infrastructure, Cllr Singh also said he could ‘not see any sensible reason’ for the scheme.

He said: “I cannot see any sensible reason for spending this money when there is so much else in the borough which is that would surely be more worthy of this expenditure than this scheme.”

Cllr Clerk told the Advertiser that the consultation process is not costing the council money and that the Government grant cannot be transferred to other projects.

He said he was ‘disappointed’ with the reaction, especially from opposition councillors suggesting this was something the council plans to impose on residents against their wishes.

“It’s a consultation – that doesn’t imply that it’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s unacceptable that we’re being criticised for trying to improve travel and amenity – we should be supported.”

He described the concern over the fines as a ‘scurrilous rumour’.

“It’s absolute rubbish – a complete fabrication designed to put fear into residents’ hearts,” he said.

“Financial income from the scheme has played no part in it – there’s no presumption that there’s any revenue to be generated here.”

Cllr Clark said that the traffic flow analysis and other tools were used to determine which roads would best benefit from changes.

One consideration is that, while drivers can take alternate routes, it is more difficult for cyclists.

Cllr Clark added that he would only support the scheme if it showed that the benefits outweighed the problems.

Residents can give respond to a survey on the scheme, open until midnight on February 9, by visiting:

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  • Didorm

    14:27, 30 January 2021

    Apart from the madness of the scheme, it is incorrect to call Shoppenhangers Road a rat run. Rat runs are diversions away from major roads into minor ones not designed for the traffic. Consider this-The road has a single yellow line all the way along, it links to the M4 and the M40, it links to a senior school, a junior school and a nursery, it links to industrial parks, it links to the housing ares of Cox Green, Woodlands Park and White Waltham. This is a major road and has been since about the 1960's. Apart from all the nonsense details of this scheme which others have already commented on, what it will do is greatly increase traffic on the real rat run which is in Walker Road. Harvest Hill road is a more rural road that Shoppenhangers. It is badly lit at the bottom where there are blind bends, adverse cambers and no pavements. If you want to improve the area you could remove the ridiculous speed bumps at the bottom of Shoppenhangers which, when encountering cyclists and having to contend with the central bollards and the Zebra crossing in the area cause motorists real problems and if there's any money left, sort out the non existent access for dropping off at the station causing a real nuisance to Courtands residents. Like the Sainsbury's traffic lights fiasco, this is another idiotic scheme that makes everything much worse. One can only assume that those suggesting such schemes no nothing of the local area, and certainly do not live here.



  • PeterPlucker

    11:18, 22 January 2021

    A very stupid idea UNTIL alternative routes are expanded to allow for the traffic to move elsewhere. This is one of the key routes into Maidenhead so the impact of "blocking it" to cars will be significant and other routes cannot cope with any increase - many are already blocked during rush hour.



  • Pursuer

    11:40, 21 January 2021

    As usual our idiotic council get some of OUR money from central government and try to find something to waste it on. The usual claptrap about the needs of cyclists. Where are these cyclists? Well more often than not when was does see one or two cycling its on footpaths, pedestrian areas and using highways totally ignoring traffic rules. As for closing long established through roads, perhaps the Borough councillors should take notice of the High Court decision of yesterday, January 20th, in finding against TfL and its closure of roads in London. As usual Sadiq Khan huffs & puffs about going to Appeal- using more public money of course. Councils are obsessed with imposing fines on motorists as a convenient source of revenue so that it can be wasted on other ludicrous schemes..



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