PETITIONERS against a controversial pop-up travel scheme branded “dangerous” have emerged victorious after the council caved to public pressure and agreed to its removal.

Sian Hewson, of North Park, Gerrards Cross, said she was “thrilled” a series of decorative planters installed by Buckinghamshire Council in Lower Road and South Park, without public approval, had been given the boot.

The council confirmed the so-called “quietway” between Gerrards Cross and Chalfont St Peter would be scrapped after a “clear majority objected to the scheme”.

READ MORE: Council blockades creating ‘dangerous’ roads are manually moved by ‘frustrated drivers’

Fellow campaigners, Superna Bhardwaj, and Janning Shenoy, of South Park, who helped lead a petition against the scheme to reach in excess of 1,400 signatures, also said they were “delighted” with the result.

Cabinet member for transport, Cllr Nick Naylor, called it “democracy in action”.

Bucks Free Press:

The quietway was met with opposition from residents who were not consulted beforehand and even saw “frustrated drivers” manually moving the blockades when adjustments promised by the council were not implemented.

Gerrards Cross Town Council has also opposed the scheme.

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

The schemes support more walking and cycling as people return to work and leisure activities “as lockdown restrictions gradually ease” – and are designed to promote safer roads and air quality and better personal health.

But Ms Bhardwaj told the Free Press the planters had forced traffic into residential roads and were of concern to emergency services.

READ MORE: Controversial plans to transform county highways creating ‘chaos’ upheld by council

Despite calls to “give it a chance” from Cllr Naylor, the council rescinded a three-month trial period, ending the project early.

“I am thrilled because the amount of extra traffic on my road, and on Packhorse Road, has been incredibly dangerous,” said Ms Hewson.

“People were stopping in the middle of the road to throw their children out at St. Mary‘s School and stopping suddenly on corners that are already double parked – it’s caused mayhem.

“It’s made access for emergency vehicles unsafe. Elderly people have struggled to have visitors. Even cyclists have said it made the roads more dangerous for them. We can now move on and things can resume to normal.”

Cllr Naylor said: “The success of these active travel schemes depends on the benefits they bring to local communities. If they don’t work, they will be removed – it’s as simple as that.

“In this case, local people have spoken and we have listened and acted.

“By trialling the scheme over three months and seeing how the temporary measures worked, it did give local people the chance to see how things worked in real life. It clearly wasn’t for them, so we’re ending the trial early.”

Buckinghamshire Council will trial further schemes in Southcourt, Aylesbury and Haddenham in the coming weeks.

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