02:14PM, Tuesday 29 September 2020
A petition calling on Slough Borough Council to abolish its experimental A4 bus and cycle lane has been debated by councillors.
More than 5000 residents have backed the campaign to scrap the six-month trial scheme along the Bath Road.
Petition founder, Graham Berridge, presented the petition at a full council meeting on Thursday where he described the project as ‘half-baked, ill-thought-out and dangerous’.
He said: “I set up the petition because I believe that the bus lane is severely impacting people’s lives in Slough.
“There was no notification this was going to happen, it just appeared overnight. Fortunately, as it stands, because of COVID, the impact wasn’t as great as is being seen now.
“Since schools have come back, there’s been a real issue around that stretch of Bath Road where the mandatory cycle lane has been implemented from the Mercedes Garage down to the Tuns.”
He added any cycle lane should be segregated to protect cyclists and raised safety concerns about cars pulling out across the bus and cycle lane and endangering people during the darker winter commuting hours.
Cllr Rob Anderson (Lab, Britwell and Northborough) said pollution in Slough town centre was recorded at its lowest ever level during July and August.
He added traffic along the A4 had returned to almost 70 per cent of its normal levels in July and 80 per cent the following month.
But opposition councillors questioned the council’s data collection and said fair comparisons could not be made with previous years as these did not take into account changes enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cllr Paul Kelly (Con, Haymill and Lynch Hill) added: “At a time when we should be supporting businesses, self-employed people and all of our residents who have struggled to get back to work and safely see their families we are causing them more pain.
“I’m not against doing something in the future but not now, not at this time when people are struggling to keep their jobs and their businesses alive.”
He also criticised the decision to limit the debate over the petition to 30 minutes.
Councillors voted for the trial scheme to be debated and analysed by the council’s scrutiny committees.
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