ARCHIVES (August 2000)
Residents' Comments - Traffic Lights in the Pound? : 6 July 2000
This is a copy of a letter sent to Cookham Parish Council regarding the proposal by Cllr John Stretton to install traffic lights in the Pound.
TRAFFIC IN THE POUND
Our credentials. We have lived in The Pound for 29 years.
Hazards in The Pound. From our direct experience and observation over this time we would agree that these are essentially as described in the paper.
affected by the hazards. The
paper mentions drivers, pedestrians and others using The Pound. Another group is
the residents and businesses in The Pound, who experience all the hazards
experienced by others, but also have to drive into and off the road and cross on
foot into their premises. We have more experience than most in using this road
and we feel our opinions should have been obtained before any paper was
finalised. So far as we are aware, nobody living in The Pound was consulted.
This was a serious omission and severely undermines the value of the conclusions
of the paper.
of humps. Speed may not be an
'over-riding consideration', but it is an important consideration nonetheless.
Problems in The Pound are exacerbated by the curve in the road between the Old
Swan Uppers and the Maidenhead Road. This reduces sight lines considerably and
can make it very hazardous to cross The Pound anywhere between Maidenhead Road
and 50 yards or more east of The Old Swan Uppers. Any method of reducing traffic
speed is to be welcomed.
this we consider the humps to have been a
success. In general, traffic is slowed down, which must reduce the
seriousness of any accident that might occur. This benefits all. The humps have
made it much easier and safer for us when driving out of our garage entrance. We
also feel much safer when crossing the road into or out of our property.
LIGHTS. We cannot agree that
traffic lights would solve all the problems.
with Cookham Bridge. The
lights on Cookham Bridge must be about 40 to 50 yards apart (we have not
measured this). No traffic enters or leaves the controlled length between the
lights in The Pound will be 250 yards apart. There are 16 exits onto the
controlled length, between them serving 24 private residences, two operating
public houses (plus one at present closed) and one small business.
of the effect of the lights on Cookham Bridge can have no relevance to The
on traffic flows in general.
We have not consulted any Department of Transport Regulations and
Recommendations on traffic lights (this must be done before any proposals can be
considered seriously) and we did not find the calculations in the paper
altogether clear. Our own assessment, made along similar lines to that in the
paper, indicates a rather more pessimistic outcome.
major factor is how long each set of lights is at green before turning red.
Assuming values for this varying between 30 and 120 seconds, the lights will be
at red from 85 to 75% of the time, causing obvious delays. The pedestrian
crossings will increase the delays to traffic.
are happy to leave experienced traffic engineers to make a more accurate
assessment of the effect of traffic lights, but the effect on traffic flows in
The Pound and nearby roads obviously will be very serious.
Effect of traffic
lights on traffic in The Pound.
The main effect will be a great increase in speed. Drivers, after being held up
for a minimum of three minutes (and much longer under some circumstances) then
presented with 250 yards of unimpeded one-way carriageway will drive as fast as
possible to the other end. We know from surveys, before
the humps were installed, that
speeds of over 60 mph have been reached with
two-way traffic. Even with wider footpaths, this could be very disturbing
Effect on residents and businesses in The Pound.
main personal difficulty will be in driving out of our garage entrance. The
paper suggests that this will become easier. This is nonsense! Our house is on
the south side of The Pound. We have a mirror that shows us traffic approaching
from the right (from The Moor) and we can see down to the present roundabout and
hump at the junction with Terrys Lane. We cannot see to the left without nosing
out a little, which is quite safe at present because traffic is slowed by the
hump just to the west and is on the left-hand (far) side of the road.
With traffic lights, tagging on behind the last vehicle to pass, as suggested, does not sound the sort of manoeuvre we would like to undertake very often. Ironically, the most dangerous time to exit would be when the traffic flow is light. We then would not know where the lights were in their cycle and we could easily drive out to the left and meet head-on a driver just released from the lights at Maidenhead Road and racing down the middle of the carriageway.
As residents, if we survive, we might learn a few tricks to reduce danger margins slightly, but what about strangers leaving the public houses and other premises?
No! Driving out onto The Pound would be like driving blind onto a Grand Prix track without even knowing which way the cars are racing. Russian roulette is not our favourite pastime.
We have not consulted other residents of The Pound, we feel this should be done, but is the duty of those making proposals.
is accepted that The Pound presents problems and dangers to all types of user.
These dangers are increased with greater speeds of vehicles using the road.
the humps may have done little to make it easier to use the footpaths, they have
been successful in reducing the speed of vehicles, thus reducing the potential
severity of possible accidents. They have also made it easier and safer for
pedestrians crossing the road and for persons driving out of the many exits onto
would welcome any viable proposal that solves all the problems, but traffic
lights, far from being a solution, would only serve to increase problems for
nearly all, and especially for residents and businesses in The Pound.
Actions requested. We consider this a very serious matter and ask you to send a copy of this letter to all that have received or will receive a copy of the Committee Paper. We would appreciate your confirmation that this action has been taken.
Is the National Trust Doing its Duty for Cookham? : 28 June 2000
On 16 June, I was at the Annual
Meeting called by the Thames & Chiltern region of the National Trust to
report on its stewardship of Maidenhead and Cookham commons among which is
Car Parking Needed: 28 June 2000
I WILL be driving down from Scotland to Maidenhead and Cookham ,where I intend to spend ,a week or so ,and then a week in London or two, so I was wondering if you know of any place where I can leave the car for a week or so, I will pay goes with out saying, this will be next year, in May or June, thank you cheerio.
Any ideas tell email@example.com
Sponsored Walk: 27 June 2000
John Copping and Charlie Hedges raised £295 from their sponsored walk to raise
money for the Cookham Millennium Celebrations on 15th July.
Thank you to John and Charlie and to all those who sponsored them
from the organisers of the Cookham Millennium Project
Thanks to the Thames Valley Hospice Committee: 27 June 2000
A very big thank you to the Thames Valley Hospice Committee for the lovely flowers
from Liz Kwantes
Letter - Traffic in the Pound, Cookham: 25 June 2000
lived in the Pound for over 25 years I was very surprised by the
Maidenhead Advertisers' report of
Cllr John Stretton's survey of traffic conditions there. I do not know
how he conducted his survey but in my experience the traffic calming
scheme involving humps has indeed calmed the traffic and in this respect
been very successful. I see little hard evidence to back his alarmist opinion
that the road is unsafe; in fact some of his assertions are clearly
inaccurate, such as residents reversing blind into the road when almost
all of us have mirrors.
It is true enough that the Pound is narrow for the volume of traffic it is required to handle. For this reason I think the Council should be congratulated on having, through the humps scheme, taken a carefully considered initiative that has genuinely improved traffic conditions.
Poppy field on Grange Road - Quite Breathtaking: 25 June 2000
Hear ye Hear ye! The Crier is always looking for things to shout about! Feel free to submit your Thoughts, Poems, Requests or anything you like to firstname.lastname@example.org