Replacing some of Aylesbury’s pedestrian traffic signals with zebra crossings and taking out bus lanes could ease congestion problems, a council leader has said.
Councillor Brian Roberts says pedestrian lights in many places lead to a traffic build up, and that there is not the demand for bus lanes in many areas outside of the town centre.
Transport for Bucks said the choice between zebra or signal crossings is based on a number of factors, and claimed allowing traffic to use bus lanes would not increase the flow.
Mr Roberts, a county councillor and district council cabinet member, pinpointed the Oxford Road/Gatehouse roundabout as a particular problem area for pedestrian signals.
He said: “A pedestrian presses the button, the light changes, the pedestrian crosses the road and the motorists wait for about 15 to 20 seconds to change, all the time the traffic is building up. A few moments later the whole process is repeated.”
Transport for Bucks looks at the number of people crossing, the location of the crossing, the volume of traffic and the road layout before making a decision.
It said: “It is very important to balance the needs of both the pedestrians and drivers so that pedestrian movements are encouraged and community severance reduced without having a major impact on drivers.”
The council said it had received many complaints about the stream of pedestrians on the Tring Road zebra crossing by Tesco and it is investigating installing a signalised crossing there.
On bus lanes, Mr Roberts said they are not needed in some areas.
He said: “Whilst motorists are queuing in a single file, we have empty bus lanes that are only used occasionally. We cannot afford the luxury of bus lanes in our town.”
Transport for Bucks said in most cases bus lanes do not reduce the capacity of routes for general traffic, ‘as it is the junctions that give the overall constraint on flows and the number of buses given this advantage is small compared to total traffic volumes’.
It said: “Allowing general traffic to use bus lanes would not increase the flow of at all, but it would diminish the real benefit these give to bus users.”