Controversial roundabout plans shelved after residents speak out

Residents raised fears over the new plans last month before the changes were dropped by the Highways Agency

Residents raised fears over the new plans last month before the changes were dropped by the Highways Agency

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

CONTROVERSIAL changes to a ‘nightmare’ junction have been shelved following pressure from angry residents.

The Highways Agency revealed a £1.8million project to improve traffic flow on the A404 at Bisham roundabout after the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead vetoed plans for traffic lights at the congested spot.

But after Bisham man Mike Post and other residents took their complaints to MP and home secretary Theresa May, the agency looks to be backing down on the contentious scheme.

In a letter to Mrs May this week, HA executive David Brewer said: "Having recently reviewed this latest option I agree with the sentiments of Mr Post that it would not be sensible to take it forward in its current form.

"To date a range of options have been considered and there has been extensive local engagement.

"However, the complexities of the issues raised means that in my view we should not take any scheme forward without more work and additional direct consultations with local residents."

The climbdown is a coup for residents who, as reported in the MFP last month, are concerned with the impact the changes would have on motorists entering the roundabout from Bisham.

The Marlow Society also submitted strong opposition, writing to the HA to singal its safety concerns.

Mr Post is worried the proposed extra left turn on the northbound A404 will make crossing the roundabout an even more treacherous from Marlow Road due to the lack of gaps in traffic at peak times.

And while not celebrating victory just yet, the former Bisham flood warden is pleased he and his fellow villagers have been listened to.

He said: "It is definitely a victory for common sense, but we’ll have to see what the final option is before we jump up and down.

"It’s just a shame we need the intervention of the home secretary for anything to happen."

The scrapped idea is part of the government’s ‘Pinch Point’ programme to target some of the worst hotpsots on the road network.

A major dual carriageway, the A404 is congested with commuter traffic at peak times crossing the busy roundabout with no speed restrictions bar the national limit.

A £4m proposal to rip up the roundabout and replace it with a signal-controlled crossroads was rejected by Bisham Parish Council and RBWM, which partly controls the stretch of road.

And after going back to the drawing board for a second time, the HA says it is committed to coming up with a solution which helps both residents and commuters.

A spokesman said: "We recognise that the scheme currently proposed would not provide the benefits we expected.

"We are reviewing the scheme and will work closely with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to develop alternative proposals that will better address the needs of drivers and local people.

"We will fully consult local people about the revised plans in due course."

Cllr Geoff Hill, cabinet member for highways and transport at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, said: "We welcome the Highways Agency’s decision to carry out further work to ensure it finds the best possible design for this notoriously difficult roundabout. In particular we support the HA’s decision to consult with residents."

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