A ‘GREEN restart’ to implement bus lanes on a busy road has been slammed by residents who have created a petition.

Slough Borough Council (SBC) announced new, temporary cycle and bus lanes will be implemented on Bath Road – running from the Hunter Spurs to Uxbridge Road – to address rush hour congestion, encourage active travel, and combat air pollution.

Approximately £180,000 was given to SBC from the first tranche of funding from the Department for Transport’s active travel fund to support public transport as well as walking and cycling.

Outraged residents have set up a petition – which has garnered nearly 2,000 signatures – demanding SBC abolish the temporary A4 bus lane before it becomes permanent as they claim it ‘halves the number of lanes available for cars to use’ and called the scheme a ‘money-making exercise’.

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Janet Belson, who signed the petition, said: “The Bath Road is so busy at the moment and not everyone is back at work yet. All this is going to do is make the surrounding areas a rat run to avoid the traffic jams.”

Another petitioner, Annie Ellis, said: “Traffic on this road was already awful before the bus lane. This is going to have such a negative impact on people’s lives who already spend so much time at work and commuting”

Councillor Robert Anderson (Labour: Britwell and Northborough), lead member for transport and environmental services, told the Observer these measures are temporary as this is a trial period where data, information, opinions, and petitions will be taken to develop and design a finalised scheme.

He said: “In Slough, we’ve got a particular problem with air quality where we have five areas that the air quality is just not good enough.

“Of course, those areas for the last 12 or so weeks have had good quality air and we don’t want to go back to a situation where the people of Slough are breathing dirty air again.

“We’ve got to try and find some way of reducing the dependence on the car in the town and this stretch of the road is heavily congested already. Its gridlock at peak times now.

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“We’ve got to find a way of enticing people out of their cars or making it so those journeys that they don’t need to take that are under a mile are not jumping in their car to do it – but they either jump on a bus which can flow freely on the A4 or cycle.”

When asked that some people said this scheme is a ‘money-making exercise’, councillor Anderson said this scheme has ‘no money in it for the long-term’ as soon as enforcement and cameras were introduced, people stopped driving in the bus lanes.

He said: “It is not a money-making scheme – it’s very much an environmental scheme to try to give people a better alternative than just sitting in their car and pumping fumes.”