STRONG calls have been made for a leading councillor to resign over the temporary bus lane ‘chaos’ on the A4.
The opposing Slough Conservatives has accused the Labour-run council of ignoring residents’ outcry to abolish the bus lane scheme on Bath Road – from Huntercombe Spur to Uxbridge Road – calling for the cabinet member for transport and environment, councillor Robert Anderson (Labour: Britwell and Northborough), to resign.
In a statement, the Tories said: “Residents are in despair as Slough Labour is set on destroying local trade, neglecting those with additional needs and continues to run rampant with taxpayer money.”
They added: “It is time for a change in Slough. It is time for Labour to stop taking advantage of residents. It is time for bus lane pioneer Cllr Anderson to resign. Residents need to be listened to instead of being ridiculed. It is time for a change.”
However, Cllr Anderson said he has no plans to resign, nor has the council leader asked him to, and the experimental bus and cycle lanes trial will continue and be tweaked if needed.
He said: “I’m not sure what they’re [Conservatives] getting at because it’s council policy.
“So, even if I wasn’t there, the next person who will be in line for the job to implement these Covid-19 cycle lanes and Covid-19 footway restrictions is something that’s not going away just because I’m not there.
“As a council, we have to do something to allow people to socially distance on the pavement and encourage cycling.
“So, in that sense, nothing will change considering who the title holder was.”
He added: “I understand people may not like the policy – but that’s very different to whether if the policy is being implemented correctly or not.
“We’ve been very clear on why we’re doing it and what we’re trying to achieve – and I understand people may not like that.
“Ultimately, we have to try, while we’re in this Covid-19 emergency, to do something to help people cycle and social distance on pavements, and that means sacrificing some road space.”
A petition, which has garnered over 5,000 signatures, was set up calling for the council to throw out this scheme, with the Tory group saying: “Slough Labour is adamant to ‘make things a little bit more inconvenient’.”
Cllr Anderson said the petition will be heard at the next council meeting – but questioned why the Conservatives didn’t call for his resignation at the last full council meeting if they felt this strongly about the issue.
When asked what further tweaks the scheme has had, Cllr Anderson said part of the bus lane has been changed by Claycotts School where the junction has been altered due to feedback showing the turning was ‘too sharp’ for motorists.
He also said the council will be looking at implementing fully electric buses down the A4 – adding more eco-friendly transport along Bath Road.