A SERIES of pop-up travel schemes implemented without public approval have been upheld by the council – despite cries it will cause traffic “chaos”.

Buckinghamshire Council stood by plans to transform public highways in towns across the county to support walking and cycling, even after opposition from residents who were not consulted beforehand.

The council was awarded a £514,000 grant by the Department for Transport (DfT), for a series of “temporary active travel schemes” across Buckinghamshire.

READ MORE: ‘New one-way system in town will create chaos for locals’

The “quietways” promote safer roads and air quality and better personal health as people return to work and leisure activities “as lockdown restrictions gradually ease”.

The Emergency Active Travel Fund will focus development in Amersham, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Chalfont St Peter to Gerrards Cross, Haddenham, and later Buckingham and Marlow.

But even after attempts in Gerrards Cross were met with cries of wasting taxpayer money and a now more than 1,300-signature petition, cabinet member for transport, Nick Naylor, pleaded with residents to “give it a chance”.

Bucks Free Press:

“I’m asking people to play their part, see how these schemes go, enjoy walking and cycling along these routes and, yes, be accepting of a little inconvenience potentially,” he said.

“Of course, there’s pros and cons with anything like this, which is why everything being installed to create the schemes is temporary.

“I fully accept local residents and businesses may say a particular scheme is too inconvenient or it won’t work. However, please give it a chance. It’s a step into the unknown for all of us, but what we do have is the opportunity to see how these schemes work for real.”

READ MORE: Petition against ‘quietway’ backed up by town council ‘legal’ dispute

Cllr Naylor said the schemes are “planned” to be in place for three months, adding the council had used its “best local knowledge to install schemes where the payback is likely to be highest”.

However, Cllr Zia Ahmed said turning Eaton Avenue and part of Abercromby Avenue, in High Wycombe, into a one-way system will cause “chaos” for drivers.

The scheme aims to upgrade “the existing cycleway through High Wycombe to increase protection for cyclists”.

“My point of view is that we already have an existing cycleway running from Millbrook School right into the town centre.

“Why can’t we simply upgrade and maintain this one rather than creating a new one?”

READ MORE: £500k travel scheme in Bucks is ‘pointless waste of tax money’

Julian Mason, in Gerrards Cross, rebuked the council for a series of decorative planters in Lower Road and South Park, which he said residents were not consulted on.

“Nobody wants it as it blocks easy access to the A413 which leads to the M25,” he said.

“If Lower Road is blocked, all cars will be diverted to the B416 which is the main and only busy road in Gerrards Cross.”

He added the scheme was “rushed” and a “pointless waste of tax money.”

Superna Bhardwaj, and Janning Shenoy, of South Park, and Sian Hewson, of North Park garnered more than 1,300 signatures for their petition against the planters.

“All of the residents nearby are really upset by this,” said Ms Bhardwaj. “It has forced lorries and cars to now use all of the quiet surrounding residential roads.”

Urgency from central Government explains the “lack of traditional consultation and local engagement”, the council said.

Adding: “Nothing will be made permanent during the trials and any proposals at the end will be fully consulted on before any decisions are made”.

“There may be things we can adjust or tweak as the schemes bed-in and there might be things we can add to improve the way schemes are performing overall during the trials,” said Cllr Naylor.

“If they don’t [work] they’ll be removed, it’s as simple as that.”

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