Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Bus lane – or a set of hazards in the name of green transport?
OKAY, I am going to give it one more try and then forever hold my peace.
Does anyone else out there share my loathing, bewilderment and fear of the bus lane on the A40 London Road in High Wycombe?
I have written countless columns on this subject but have spectacularly failed to influence the powers-that-be to make any changes to this carbuncle on the backside of High Wycombe.
But I will try once more, partly because the county council cabinet has recently changed and maybe someone will be prepared to see sense at last. I have also though been prompted by my growing frustration over the last few weeks as I have used the London Road more than usual during bus lane times.
It’s not that I’m against the principle of these lanes. I think they are a splendid idea and I would back almost any initiative that helps green public transport. But I can’t back a lane on a narrow road that keeps stopping and starting, forcing drivers to zig zag around at their own peril.
The problem is that the road is not suited to such a lane. It is simply not big enough. But the powers-that-be have appeared to be blinded for years by the trendy green dogma that puts common-sense second.
For those who have never had the pleasure of the loony lane, you should try it one day because it’s probably more scary than paying for a daredevil ride at Thorpe Park or going on a fairground dodgem car.
The problems occur when you follow the letter of the law, as I always aim to do. You drive in the middle lane while others, probably confused strangers, ride illegally in the left hand one during rush hour.
This wouldn’t be a cause for alarm if the middle lane didn’t suddenly become a right hand turn, forcing you to sharply move back into the left to avoid being stuck.
Road chiefs have allowed for this by ending the bus lane at these right hand points and allowing you to drive on the left.
But you can’t move in because the illegal numptys are there on the left blocking your way, and they are tooting you and yelling at you because they think you’ve got it wrong.
My heart is constantly in my mouth whenever I embark on this white knuckle ride, even though I’ve done it hundreds of times now.
Every time you zig zag in and out, you risk a crash or an instance of road rage, however careful you may be. Has anywhere else in the world created such a set of hazards in the name of green transport?
The other main issue is that the bus lane is rarely enforced to my knowledge. I never see or hear of anyone being prosecuted.
Now I don’t wish ill on my fellow drivers, but at least if the lane was taken seriously, you wouldn’t get so many instances of trouble when you merge legally to the left.
All of this rather renders the entire scheme pointless. Are buses or taxis really going to benefit if other cars are flouting the rules and if the lane stops anyway at several points on the road?
And, for those who don’t know, the lane only operates in one direction – from Loudwater to High Wycombe town centre.
My suggestion is that someone in power admits their mistake and repaints the entire stretch of road. It surely wouldn’t make the buses slower, and it would make conditions far safer for everyone.
But, hey, that’s too sensible and they might get a black mark in the tick box which asks councils: “Are you blindly following green transport initiatives?”
I say scrap the lane and do it now.
Comments are closed on this article.