Taxi drivers in Slough are in despair after the appearance of new bus and cycle lanes in Bath Road which they fear could put them out of business.

The lanes have been introduced on a six months trial basis.

But Slough's Hackney carriage drivers are appealing to Slough Borough Council to let them at least use the bus lane.

Ranjit Ghotra, general secretary of the Slough Taxi Federation, said: "If we are flagged down by a customer at the moment there is nowhere for us to pull in and pick them up, as we can't go into the bus lane.

"When we do have a customer the new lanes means the traffic moves so slowly we will be stuck in it with the metre still running."

As well as making it expensive for customers he says it causes discomfort for wheelchair users or people with special needs.

Mr Ghotra is not impressed by the fact the new lanes are operating on a six month experimental basis, saying: "By the end of that time it will have destroyed all our trade."

He points out that when bus lanes were introduced in Farnham Road and London Road, Hackney carriage drivers were allowed to use them without any trouble.

The new lanes in Bath Road were made possible by a grant from the Department of Transport and cost £50,000. They have proved controversial leading to concerns that they will just increase congestion.

A spokesman for Slough Borough Council said: “The A4 Bath Road bus and cycle lane is to give cyclists and pedestrians the opportunity to social distance and provide a dedicated lane for ease of cycling in the borough. A high proportion of private car journeys in the borough are short in time and distance and we hope these journeys can be made easier by using an alternative method.

"This is a six month experimental order and the members of the taxi association will have the opportunity to add their comments throughout the consultation period.”