High Wycombe’s Abbey Way flyover could be “repurposed” and a bus priority “corridor” created on Marlow Hill amid major plans to overhaul the way people get around the town.

Those who live and work in the town are set to be asked what they think about Buckinghamshire Council’s plans to improve transport around High Wycombe by 2050.

While finer details still appear to be vague at this stage, the “ambitious” plan includes 26 schemes that the council hopes will improve the environment and connectivity in the town.

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Segregated cycling lanes and “quiet way” style networks on all arterial corridors and key routes are being suggested, as is faster and more affordable bus travel, e-bike and e-scooter hire schemes and “healthy neighbourhood” schemes that aim to reduce traffic on residential streets and make it safer to travel on foot and bicycle.

The future of the controversial A40 Abbey Way flyover in the centre of High Wycombe has long been discussed as it comes to the end of its life and the subject has come up once again, with the council mentioning plans to “repurpose” it – although it’s not clear what it would be used for if not traffic.

Bucks Free Press: The flyoverThe flyover

There have been calls from prominent town figures, including former councillor Hugh McCarthy (who famously likened the flyover to the Berlin Wall) to allow the River Wye to surface there instead.

A north-south bus priority corridor could also be created on the A404 Marlow Hill, a major route between the town centre and the Handy Cross roundabout and the M40, and an east-west bus priority corridor on the A40 London Road and West Wycombe Road.

Town centre traffic signals would be “optimised”, while “demand-responsive” signals would be introduced on the A404.

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The thinking behind the plan – the High Wycombe 2050 Transport Strategy – is that: “By 2050, High Wycombe will be among the best connected and most innovative towns in the Thames Valley, where all journeys, from start to finish, are emission-free, seamless, and safe for all residents, businesses and visitors.”

Bucks Free Press: Marlow HillMarlow Hill

A High Wycombe Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan has also been discussed, which will look at making the town centre more attractive for walking and cycling by making improvements to the public realm and signage.

The plan is set to be discussed on the High Wycombe Town Committee on Tuesday, January 18, and if councillors are happy with it, it will go out to public consultation online so residents can have their say on it during a six-week period.

After that, it will be finalised and then put forward to the council for adoption in the 2022/23 financial year.