Villagers' anger at Olympic traffic changes

Villagers' anger at Olympic traffic changes

Francis Batt

Villagers' anger at Olympic traffic changes

Seething villagers say that traffic changes demanded by the Olympic authority have made their life a dangerous nightmare.

Olympic bosses insisted on the removal of the roundabout at the junction of Mill Lane and Maidenhead Road, Clewer Village.

Work began this week and residents have already been shocked by the disappearance of a much-used pedestrian crossing.

Michelle Collier said: "I have witnessed children trying to dodge the rush hour traffic as they cross the road, together with mums with buggies."

She said that drivers turning out of Mill Lane also took their lives in their hands now.

She added: "The contractors have put their cabin on a spot to the right of Mill Lane so that residents pulling out have no idea what is coming. It is literally a case of Russian roulette at rush hour."

This week Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park) who is the Royal Borough's cabinet member for highways, said the removal of the pedestrian crossing had been a temporary measure necessary for construction reasons.

He said: "We hope it will be back early next week. Men will be on duty during busy periods with 'stop' and 'go' signs to control traffic."

He said he would arrange for council officers to inspect the contractors' cabin and ask for it to be moved if it was blocking drivers' view.

Cllr Bicknell insists the removal of the roundabout offers a unique opportunity to find a comprehensive answer to Clewer's congestion problems.

He said: "LOCOG is paying for its removal so local taxpayers won't foot the bill. We may well replace it ourselves later but it will be much smaller and will allow a freer traffic movement."

The borough is also planning to open up the underpass at the bottom of Mill Lane, giving residents an alternative exit route into Windsor avoiding Maidenhead Road. Some residents have complained it will encourage traffic to cut through Mill Lane.

But Cllr Bicknell said: "It is a pilot scheme - nothing set in stone. If it does not work, we could reverse it so that residents would use the underpass to come into Mill Lane instead and cars could not cut through from Maidenhead Road."

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