ANGER has erupted over planned changes to a "horrible" roundabout which residents say forces people to take their lives in their hands every day.
The Highways Agency has published revised improvement plans for the A404 Bisham roundabout which features a dedicated lane for northbound vehicles turning left towards Bisham on Marlow Road.
It replaces a previous £8million proposal to install traffic lights on the busy roundabout, which residents say is dangerous to enter from Bisham at rush hour due to the volume and speed of commuting traffic on the A404.
And motorists are worried the changes will make matters even worse, forcing drivers to take even greater risks as they look for gaps in traffic on the major trunk road.
Bisham resident Mike Post, who lives in Stoney Ware and regularly uses the junction, said: "About three weeks ago the Highways Agency said it was going ahead with this scheme which will make the roundabout even more dangerous.
"All they are going to do is widen the road and with traffic having an extra lane to turn left there will be no gaps in traffic and you’ll have to take your life into your hands.
"It is going to affect all the people using the roundabout from Bisham. There will be more accidents because of this.
"It’s ridiculous, we just need part time traffic lights on the A404 to create some gaps for the traffic coming out at Bisham. There are near misses every day, you can see them if you watch the roundabout. It’s really horrible."
As part of the £1.8m project, the Marlow Road approach to the A404 roundabout will also be widened.
There will be no changes for southbound traffic.
The £1.8m scheme is being carried out as part of the government’s ‘Pinch Point’ programme which targets problem areas on the major road network.
Members of the Marlow Society also strongly objects to the plans, with chairman Martin Blunkell writing to the Highways Agency this week to voice his concern.
The Highways Agency said the previous traffic light plan was rejected by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM), which has jurisdiction over the stretch of road.
An agency spokesman said: "Our original plans, announced in October 2012, to improve the traffic flow by removing the roundabout and replacing it with a signalised junction were opposed by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Bisham Parish Council.
"The work involved changes to the local roads and the scheme could not be delivered without the Borough Council’s agreement. We have worked with both councils and our revised plans are based on their feedback."
Tony Carr, traffic and road safety manager for RBWM, said the council felt traffic lights would have been more unsafe than the current plan.
He said: "We were concerned that a signal crossroads in that location had a number of issues given that it is a fast dual carriageway.
"We were concerned they have a worse road safety record than other roundabout solutions. Signals are not necessarily the best solution, it has problems of its own and that was a view we supported."
He added that RBWM plans to discuss options with the Highways Agency for a longer term solution that suits all parties.