Decision details

Bus Lane Review

Decision Maker: Executive Director - Regeneration, Housing and Environment

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

The purpose of this significant decision is to seek approval to amend specific bus lanes in the borough following a Motion agreed by full council on 27th July ’23.

The Council has introduced over a period of many years, bus lane infrastructure to support the move to sustainable travel. This infrastructure is supported by the Local Transport Plan 3 and the Bus Service Improvement Plan approved in October ’21.

In July ’23 under section 14 of the Constitution a motion was approved as follows:
“Council acknowledges the importance of delivering Best Value for residents of Slough, and demonstrating evidence based decision making which achieve positive outcomes for residents and recognises the importance of sustainable transport and the vital role which local bus services provides. Council also acknowledges that the residents of Slough have had serious concerns about the implementation and impact of the Bus Lanes across Slough.

Council therefore requests Cabinet to:

• Review the implementation of the Bus lanes at the earliest opportunity and will use this to ascertain the current usage of the bus lanes to understand it’s true impact on the local environment and journey times and to;

• Explore options to encourage sustainable travel, reduce congestion and deliver positive outcomes for the residents of Slough;

• To support a review of traffic flows at major junctions to understand how we can facilitate reduced journey times for Slough residents and increase road safety.”

An officer and member group was arranged and has met over the past few months to identify concerns and also options to improve the current infrastructure. The group consisted of the following officers and members:

Cllr Puja Bedi Lead Member Transport Housing Highways Environment Environmental Services
Cllr Siobhan Dauti - Northborough & Lynch Hill
Cllr Mabu Shaik - Langley Meads Cllr Dhruv Tomar - Slough Central
Dani O’Connell - Leader and Cabinet Support Officer
Kam Hothi -Network Lead
Stephen Hoskings – Public transport
Savio DeCruz – AD Operations

In Appendix A the locations of the bus lanes across the borough have been identified with annotation from councillors with regard to concerns on safety and congestion. A desktop assessment was undertaken by the service on the number of bus services and also patronage however, the latter was not available as it is currently held by the relevant bus operators. Further analysis was completed and shared with the group on the income generated from bus lanes specifically around the changing of the operational times. The current operational times are as follows:

Peak Time a.m. Mon-Fri 07:00 to 10:00
Peak Time p.m. Mon-Fri 15:00 to 19:00
All day Bus Lane Mon - Sun 24hrs

A proposal was considered to reduce the morning and evening peak end period by 30mins i.e. finishing at 09:30 and 18:30 respectively, however this would result in approximately 4,200 less PCN’s, impact some of the current bus services operating at this time and increase the number of vehicles then being non-compliant on the new timing.

Further options were considered based on safety and congestion and these have been agreed for the following locations:

1. A4 Tuns Lane/A355 : Proposal to redesign the Tuns Junction to remove southbound slip lane which is currently causing delays from merging traffic and to reduce the right-turn traffic lane from Tuns Lane to one lane due merging traffic and a pinch-point with the adjacent pedestrian crossing.
2. Cedar Way: reduce the downstream bus lane (i.e. from the pedestrian crossing to Cedar Way) to reduce collisions.
3. Drake Ave: reduce the downstream bus lane (i.e. from the pedestrian island to Cedar Way) to reduce collisions.
4. A4 Brands Hill: reduce the downstream bus lane (i.e. from the pedestrian crossing to Hill Rise) to reduce congestion. The bus lane is currently not used by the bus operator as they need the offside lane to turn into Slough at the M4 junction 5 roundabout.
5. Buckingham Ave: Remove bus lane from Henley Road to Dover Road (no service operating but to be reviewed with the new Simplified Planning Zone SPZ)
6. Convert the A355 southbound lane from 24hr to Peak time only
7. Convert all bus lanes to accommodate Electric Vehicles

Statutory Consultees

In order to proceed with the necessary changes a consultation with the statutory stakeholders will be undertaken as outlined in the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996.

Financial Implications

The consultation and implementation for the associated proposals is estimated at £20,000. This caters for new TRO’s, replacement signs and road markings and the consultation process, this can be funded from the Parking Revenue Budget and S106 contributions.

Decision:

1. That Appendix A analysis be noted following the working group meetings.

2. That the changes to the Farnham Road Bus lane timings be altered to Peak time only but that all other bus lane timings are retained.

3. That changes to Cedar Way, Drake Ave and Hill Rise approaches are amended subject to consultation if required.

4. That the bus lane on Buckingham Avenue be removed due to no operational services but be reviewed under the forthcoming SPZ.

5. That all bus lanes are converted to accommodate Electric Vehicles.

Alternative options considered:

As set out above.

Publication date: 01/02/2024

Date of decision: 20/12/2023

Effective from: 09/02/2024

Accompanying Documents: