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Traffic lights at 'dangerous' junction would ruin scenery says council
PLANS to transform a major traffic junction labelled "dangerous" by residents were rejected over fears that traffic lights would destroy the rural location, it has emerged.
As reported last week, The Highways Agency (HA) wanted to rip up the A404 Bisham Roundabout near Marlow and replace it with a light-controlled crossroads.
But the plan thrown out after the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) and Bisham Parish Council vetoed the £8m design to improve traffic flow.
This is despite fears from residents that the alternative solution will make matters worse for those who "take their life into their hands" to cross the roundabout from Bisham.
Tony Carr, traffic and road safety manager at RBWM, said: "We were concerned that a signal crossroads in that location had a number of issues given that it is a fast dual carriageway.
"There was a concern about the visual impact of the signals in an attractive rural location. This urban solution is completely inappropriate.
"We appreciate there are problems getting on to the road, and we want to come up with a solution that suits everybody. It is a very difficult balancing act to take into account."
Mr Carr also said that traffic light junctions also have a worse road safety record than other types of road layout.
Residents and the Marlow Society complain the replacement £1.8m layout, featuring an separate left turn lane into Bisham, will make the junction more dangerous for motorists.
In his letter to the Highways Agency, chairman Martin Blunkell said: "Of specific concern to us all is the ever more difficult and dangerous driving that we have to undertake when trying to enter the A404 from the Maidenhead and Bisham roads.
"The building of a slip road must surely increase the rate of traffic flow northwards making it even more hazardous to those trying to leave Bisham.
He added: "Even at 0630h in the morning an exit from Bisham has to be made with wheels spinning due to the speed of traffic through the roundabout."
Bisham Parish Council insists the traffic light crossroad was not suitable and would blighted the village.
Chairman Mandy Robson-Brown said: "The Highways Agency wanted to remove the roundabout and replace it with a major cross roads with 24-hour lights and we object to that because it would have been devastation.
"We are talking about a village which is mainly listed and a site of special scientific interest. This would have been a major junction, it would have an appalling impact on the village.
"It (the changes) won’t make any difference to the traffic flow at the roundabout and may make crossing more difficult. But it is far preferable to the impact the lights would have. There are no quick solutions to this problem."
Mrs Robson-Brown added part time traffic lights would have been a better option, but that the HA ruled this out due to the size of the roundabout.
The Highways Agency said the original plan was changed after RBWM refused to sign a legal agreement to install the traffic light crossroads and has based its new solution on feedback with both councils.
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