Rat runs feared in Horton, Wraysbury and Datchet if Slough bus gate goes ahead

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams


Three parish councils have raised concerns that plans for a bus gate in Colnbrook will turn their villages into rat runs – unless the Royal Borough introduces measures to prevent this.

The plan is to install a bus gate in Poyle Road to prevent large HGVs from accessing the A4 by passing via residential areas in Colnbrook.

There are many movements of HGVs there because of the nearby Poyle Trading Estate.

However, Horton Parish Council (HPC) wrote in an email to Royal Borough officers and councillors that this will have a ‘catastrophic outcome’ for Horton, as well as Wraysbury and Datchet.

HPC cast doubt on the intended outcome; for all traffic to travel to the roundabout at the Horton end of Poyle Road and to directly access the M25 or A3113.

The parish council believes the actual effect will be that, when the M25 is busy, traffic will turn right, towards Horton.

The fear is it will be used as an access to the M4 via Stanwell Road; through Wraysbury to access the M25 junction 13; or Datchet to access the M4.

As such, the parish councils of Horton, Datchet and Wraysbury believe ‘realistic measures’ should be put in place to deter passing traffic and prevent transit HGV traffic from going through the villages.

“It is essential that urgent action is taken to provide a traffic solution for Horton to stop such vehicles from travelling through Horton Village,” HPC wrote.

“We already have substantial excess traffic every time the M25 is busy and plans for roadworks on the M25 will only make this much worse.”

Though Slough Council said it understands these concerns, it ‘do[es] not believe the bus gate will have much of an impact on Horton Village specifically’ because drivers would not use that route.

But from observation, Horton Parish Council remains convinced that they will use it.

“You can see it any day of the week,” said Janet Crame, deputy chair.

“They do it because there’s nowhere else for them to go.

“Other places have massive calming measures that seem to stop people wanting to do the normal cut-throughs. We don’t have any.”

On top of this, mineral extraction in the Royal Borough is expected to add ‘significantly’ to HGV movements.

These are already a problem; during the mineral plan enquiry meetings, an inspector noted 12 HGVs an hour accessing the All Waste site using Foundry Lane, a single-track farm road.

Horton Parish Council proposed during the mineral plan enquiry meetings that a temporary roadway could be constructed from Poyle Road across the mineral extraction site to exit at the Jayflex roadway on Horton Road.

A Royal Borough spokesperson said: “Vehicular movements are, of course, an important consideration in planning mineral extraction and waste management activities.

“While Horton Parish Council made their suggestion very late in the examination process, we have already met with the parish to discuss their proposals and have agreed to review those and continue liaison.

“It should be noted that the All Waste site in Foundry Lane is an existing waste management site and is not an allocation in the new Minerals and Waste Plan.

“Regarding the Slough bus gate, we meet routinely with National Highways and our neighbouring highways authorities to discuss highways issues which could have cross-border implications, and we will be liaising with Slough Borough Council to explore their latest plans and share the parish councils’ concerns.

“We would also encourage those parishes to liaise directly with Slough if they have not already done so.”

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