Thursday, 18 December 2014

Royal seal of approval for filming on the highway

Legal red tape has been officially cut to help movie directors who want to film on Buckinghamshire's roads.

Yesterday (Wednesday December 17) Royal Assent was granted to Buckinghamshire County Council's Filming on Highways Bill to provide extra powers to close roads and footpaths for filming.

Buckinghamshire is home to 22 production companies making features, animation, TV digital production and corporate films. The County Council has always worked to support the film industry, recognising it as an important part of the local economy.

Being close to Pinewood Studios, and within easy reach of London's television and film production companies, Buckinghamshire is a favourite location for the producers and directors.

But until now, traffic regulations have allowed roads to be closed only for 'relevant' sporting, social or entertainment events, and there has long been uncertainty as to whether filming falls under this definition.

The County Council has in the past risked being challenged if roads were closed for filming, but the new Act removes any uncertainty about its legal powers from now onwards.

Anne Davies, Head of Legal for the County Council, said: 'The new powers will be an enormous help in cutting red tape to make Buckinghamshire more attractive to the film industry, which in turn will benefit the local economy.'

The Private Bill was promoted by the County Council through the House of Lords. It received its third and final reading in November this year.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Free driving workshop helps prepare for winter

A free Winter Driving Workshop is being arranged on Wednesday January 21 by Transport for Buckinghamshire to give motorists the knowledge and skills to help drive safely during the winter months.

The workshop, in partnership with STS Tyre Pros Garages, Aylesbury, follows successful winter driving workshops in Chesham and High Wycombe. Motorists who attended said how worthwhile they were.

The workshop, at the STS tyre and exhaust centre in Park Street, Aylesbury, will include:

• A presentation by a former Class 1 police response driver on how to handle vehicles on ice and snow.
• A session with garage technicians who demonstrate to motorists how to conduct basic checks on their vehicles.
Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said: 'Winter driving can bring challenging conditions for all drivers. These workshops support drivers by providing tips, from preparing your vehicle and looking after your car to advice on driving in snow. I would strongly recommend attending this course.'

Signing up to attend is easy: phone 01296 382450, or email or go online.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Cabinet backs massive £25 million programme on roads and more to safeguard vulnerable children in 2015/16.

A major programme of spending £25 million on continuing to restore the county’s roads and increased spending on protecting vulnerable children were amongst the key budget proposals recommended by Cabinet today (December 8). A council tax rise of 1.99% helps provide these much needed investments.

The proposals for 2015/16 have been reached despite an expected £11.2m reduction in government funding and unavoidable growth demands of £20 million, mainly relating to Children’s Services and providing services to elderly adults. There has also been a big increase in demand for school places. With other service pressures this means the Council has to manage with a budget gap of over £31 million just for next year alone.

The large increase in spending on road resurfacing from a previous level of £15 million to a proposed level of £25 million next year has been achieved by bringing forward planned spending from future years.

Outlining the proposals, Martin Tett, Leader of the Council said, "I need to be clear that this is not ‘new money’ but what we have done is listen to feedback from the budget consultation where people said that the state of the county’s roads continues to be one of their top concerns. Therefore we are bringing forward planned capital spending from future years to have a major ‘blitz’ next year. This is sound financial management because it will enable us to contract for work in bulk and also prevent further deterioration of many roads. There will however be some reductions in planned spending in subsequent years to compensate for this.

“Our other key priority is protecting the vulnerable and in particular children's safeguarding and we have invested heavily this year with money from our reserves. From 2015/16 onwards an increase in spending is built into the Children’s Services budget.

“In our very difficult financial situation, the only way we can fund these changes is by reducing budgets in other areas. We've had to make some very difficult decisions with increased charges and cuts both in the ‘back office’ but also in areas that people value but we have no choice.

"We've also reluctantly reached the decision to increase Council tax from a planned 1.5% to 1.99%. This extra increase mirrors the feedback from the budget consultation where seven out of ten residents backed a reasonable increase to protect priority areas. The extra 0.49% increase will generate £1.1 million more to go into Children’s Services. That said, we were equally conscious not to increase Council Tax more than absolutely necessary at a time when many people are still struggling with the everyday cost of living.”

Mr Tett added, "Although we're continuing to make a huge number of internal efficiency measures, inevitably, we've had to propose service reductions to get the books to balance. Examples of these include reduced support for Police Community Safety Officers (PCSOs), less funding for local improvement schemes, reduced support for economic development and reductions in our ‘Supporting People’ service. Not all our proposed reductions have yet been finalised but these demonstrate the reality of how tough things really are."

"The situation would have been much worse had we not already taken difficult decisions like introducing new charges for home to school transport and reducing street lighting. We've also significantly reduced our staff and reformed terms and conditions.”

The belt is set to tighten still further for all councils in the following two years as policies to tackle the national deficit look like continuing whichever party is elected to Government next May. However, County Councils right across the country face unique cost pressures given their responsibility for education, social services and child protection, all of which are seeing a rapid increase in demand at a time when the level of Government Grant is reducing sharply. In Buckinghamshire, there is an urgent need for more school places to cope with a rapidly rising young population. At the other end of the spectrum, an ageing population combined with planned changes particularly as a result of the Care Act will increase demands on council services.

The draft budget will now go for further consideration by the business community and other partner agencies. Over December into early January, it will also be subject to scrutiny by a the County Council’s independent Finance, Performance and Resources Select Committee before Cabinet recommends the final budget to full County Council on 12 February 2015.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Pothole patching programme begins

Transport for Buckinghamshire's road patching programme gets underway on 8 December.

In March 2014, the Government announced the creation of a £168 million pothole fund available to highway authorities in England to help repair damage to local roads. Buckinghamshire County Council submitted a bid, and was awarded £1.4 million to repair known pothole sites. Over 230 sites were assessed and a list of 132 sites drawn up for treatment. Sites have been chosen using these criteria:
• Sites that the severe weather recovery scheme fund didn’t cover
• Known sites that suffer with a number of potholes
• Local Area Technicians’ selection based on their knowledge of the local area.
Works will be carried out by TfB's contractors and the majority will require road closures. Works will run from December until March and will consist of patching works from 1 to 140 square metres, depending on the site requirements.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport said, "We were very grateful to receive some of the Government's pothole fund, and we have been careful deciding where to spend the money. This will not solve all our problems - however, we are working hard through all our road treatment programmes to improve the overall condition of the roads. In targeting these locations, we will be able to make a real impact on local roads by making permanent repairs to 132 sites."

The first week's work will target the following locations:

Turville Valley Road, Turville: Monday 8 December – Wednesday 10 December
Daytime patching works carried out with a road closure

Swallow Street, Iver: Thursday 11 December – Friday 12 December
Daytime patching works carried out with a road closure

Lower Road, Gerrards Cross: Wednesday 10 December
Daytime patching works carried out with a road closure

Mill Lane, Gerrards Cross: Thursday 11 December – Friday 12 December
Daytime patching works carried out with a road closure

Howard Avenue Aylesbury: Monday 8 December
Daytime patching works carried out with a road closure

The Green & Brook Street, Edlesborough: Tuesday 9 December
Daytime patching works carried out with a road closure

Chiltern Road, Ballinger: Wednesday 10 December
Daytime patching works

Horton Road, Ivinghoe: Thursday 11 December – Friday 12 December
Daytime patching works using an offpeak road closure

Weekly updates will be posted on the website, including site lists and details of road closures and traffic management measures:

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Stocklake link consultation launched

A public consultation on the proposed design for Stocklake Link Road urban section improvement scheme is launched by Buckinghamshire County Council today (Monday December 1) as part of the Aylesbury East growth plan.

The road improvement scheme is one of a number of major schemes funded by a £44 million grant through the Government’s Local Growth Deal, which is being managed by Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP).

The road improvements will provide a number of benefits, moving the new road further away from the fronts of houses, new footpaths, new cycle path, new parking, as well as more space for through traffic. The aim is also to improve the look and feel of the area.

A public exhibition at Stocklake Park School on Thursday 4 December will be open from 4.30pm and 8.30pm. People will be able to see the proposed designs, talk to the Project Team, and provide feedback on the proposals.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: 'The proposed change to Stocklake is the first of several major highway improvements that will improve transport links into Aylesbury and stimulate growth and development to benefit the area.'

Ruth urged people who might be affected by the proposals to attend the exhibition on December 4 and give their feedback. All comments will be considered when reviewing the design, she said.

People can feed back on questionnaires available at the exhibition, or online at until Monday 12 January 2015.

Further information on the Aylesbury East growth plans can be found at

Search is on for the lollipop patrollers

Wanted: lollipop patrollers!

School crossing patrol 'sheriff' Mark Shaw has been eyeing the danger spots on roads heading into town. And he needs nine lollipop ladies or men to give Buckinghamshire's children a safe crossing.

Once he finds them, he's sure they'll stick around - for a long time!

Nearly a third of Buckinghamshire's school crossing patrollers, who ensure a safe journey daily for thousands of children and parents going to and from school, have served for more than 10 years.

Seven have been patrolling for more than 20 years and one, Christine Walker, who sees children across the road at West Wycombe, will have clocked up 37 years in February.

Long-serving patroller great-grandmother Irene Warne, who has notched up more than 25 years, has seen four generations of her family across the road, and now crosses her great-grandson Caleb.

Irene, guarding the Elmhurst, Aylesbury, crossing says she can't think of a job she'd rather be doing.

‘I know I’m out in all weathers, but I still love the job and I love seeing the children every day,' said Irene. 'To me it’s important that they see a smiley face on their way to school.’

And at Beaconsfield, one crossing patrol is so popular it has three lollipop ladies. Jenny Flynn, Debbie Marsden and Belinda Avery take shifts looking after the High March School crossing.

Debbie said the trio love the daily smiles, 'thank-yous' and waves from the children and local people. 'This is more than enough reward for the job,' she said. 'But hopefully we are making a difference as well - helping to make them safer and also happier to walk to school.'

Mark, Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport, is in awe of patrollers' devotion to duty. 'They all play a fantastic part in our children's safety. But for everyone, much as they love the job, there comes a time when they want to stand down,' he said.

'And I'm looking to round up nine new patrollers to keep our children safe crossing our busy roads. They're wanted . . . but for no longer than an hour or so a day.'

'Sheriff' Mark will be visiting school crossing patrols in Buckingham, Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Beaconsfield to support a recruitment campaign that launches on Monday (December 1).

And Mark's 'sheriff' image will be appearing on posters and leaflets in schools, libraries, surgeries, and community notice boards.

Monday, 24 November 2014

TfB's LED street lighting programme continues

Work on the second phase of LED streetlight replacement continues next week (commencing 24 November).
During this phase, Transport for Buckinghamshire expects to convert 2,585 traditional street lamps in 110 locations with more efficient LED lanterns before next March.
Modern LED (light emitting diode) lamps not only save energy, create lower carbon emissions and reduce maintenance costs, but are also made of materials with less environmental impact.
TfB has now replaced 1,051 traditional lanterns with more efficient LED lamps during this phase, which is now over 40% complete.

Next week the programme will visit Oxford Road in Stone, White Lion Road in Amersham and Haydon Road, High Street and Wendover Road in Aylesbury.

Ongoing - 25 Nov - Oxford Road, Stone - 10.00-14.30 - stop/go boards
Ongoing - 26 Nov - White Lion Road, Amersham - 09.30-15.30 - stop/go boards
24-26 Nov - Haydon Road, Aylesbury - 10.00-14.00- stop/go boards
25-27 Nov - High Street, Aylesbury - 19.00-07.00 - stop/go boards
25 Nov - 3 Dec - Wendover Road, Aylesbury - 09.30-15.30 - traffic lights
These timings are the window of work that the contractor is permitted to use, so traffic restrictions will fall sometime within this.
The scheme is likely to be complete by January. For further information, please visit

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Forum responds to school road safety plea

Traffic calming has just been installed on the approach road to Waddesdon's two schools, thanks to a £12,750 grant from Buckinghamshire County Council's Local Area Forum (LAF).

Parents concerned about safety in School Lane and Baker Street leading to Waddesdon CE Secondary and the village primary schools at the start and end of the day, had petitioned the Waddesdon LAF.

In response LAF members commissioned two speed reduction humps, lower kerbs and special paving at the road crossing point, fencing to guide people away from unsafe crossing points, warning signs and road markings.

County Councillor Paul Irwin, LAF Chairman, said: 'This is the only route to both schools and our priority was to find a safe way forward as quickly as possible. The result is a great example of a Local Area Forum getting people to work together successfully to find a solution to a community problem.'

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Cabinet supports county-wide public transport review

A call for a county-wide review of public transport received unanimous support from Buckinghamshire County Council's Cabinet yesterday (Monday, November 10).

It follows an in-depth study during the past six months by the County Council's all-party Environment, Transport and Localities Select Committee.

Select Committee Chairman Warren Whyte, presenting the findings of the study, said it was a deep dive look at County Council support for public transport in the light of current financial pressures. Recommendations aimed to help the council's future vision and policy-making to support public transport more effectively and efficiently.

The Select Committee had recommended that a fresh joined-up, long-term strategic vision for public transport over the next 20 years would better serve residents' needs, rather than following the current practice of basing support on demand for existing services in isolation.

And the committee said there was a strong case for developing county council leadership in driving better community transport schemes - and more of them - to increase local on-demand services in areas commercial operators are unable to serve.

The Cabinet accepted the principle of leading a total transport approach, and Transport Cabinet Member Ruth Vigor-Hedderly said consultations were taking place to include a specialist team with a lead officer to cover public, community, home-school and social care transport in the council's new Transport, Economy and Environment business unit from April 2015.

Ms Vigor-Hedderly confirmed the Select Committee's recommendations would be included in the development of the next Local Transport Plan through 2015 and within the Business Unit Plans.

'This is about finding new ways forward to provide transport for rural communities, our vulnerable and older residents, and our children and young people, that more closely matches their needs,' she said.

Welcoming the Cabinet decision, Warren Whyte said: "I'm pleased that Cabinet has accepted the report in full. We just can't keep on salami-slicing budgets, and the work we have done paves the way for a proper strategic shift, which will allow a better, more efficient way of supporting public transport for everyone in Buckinghamshire."

Monday, 10 November 2014

Ribbon cutting inaugurates Beaconsfield's cycle network

Braving a light drizzle, around a dozen cyclists set off from Beaconsfield Town Hall for an inaugural ride around the town's new cycle network on Saturday morning (November 8).

With them was Buckinghamshire County Council Leader Martin Tett, who had deftly snipped a celebratory ribbon to mark the opening of the new network.

The improvements are a result of work the County Council has done with Beaconsfield Cycle Paths Action Group, Sustrans, and Chiltern Railways, to improve cycling links around the town. The county council secured around £500,000 in funding for the scheme.

Martin Tett said: 'This is a good example of great partnership working and we hope it will be well used by commuters and local cyclists getting around town. I wish we had more money to develop cycle schemes like this.'

The new cycle lanes, signs, traffic calming, raised pedestrian crossings, and a mini roundabout make it easier for commuters to cycle to the station and safer for local walkers, cyclists and motorists.

As part of the scheme, in April local County Councillor Adrian Busby unveiled new under-cover cycle parking at Beaconsfield railway station, doubling the number of spaces to 180. Usage is rising and is currently around 90 a day.

Monday, 3 November 2014

TfB gritters ready to roll

The winter season has arrived for Transport for Buckinghamshire, and their crews are ready to roll. All winter gritter drivers have had their qualifications renewed and refreshed, and all their gritting vehicles have had their pre-season checks. TfB started to monitor the temperature of the road late in October, and crews are on standby to get the gritters out on routes around the county should road surface temperatures fall below zero.

Daily temperature readings are taken from the monitoring stations around the county, and TfB will tweet the decision daily on their Twitter feed - @tfbalerts. When the gritters do go out, you will be able to track their progress, by name, on TfB's website.

Buckinghamshire's 25 gritters were named by local primary schools a few years ago, and so we now see Rosie Cheeks, Lambourgritti and Mr Sprinkle travelling on their routes when it's cold. This year, schools have been asked to design a picture to replace TfB's Twitter and Facebook avatars. The winning schools will be invited to one of TfB's operational depots to see the salt barn, gritters and meet the men who grit the roads through the season.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport said, "We have learnt a lot over the last few years, and this year we have formulated robust strategies for dealing with a range of situations. We cannot predict the severity of the season, but we feel that with the support of local communities and the hard work of our staff, we will be able to deal with the winter weather in the most appropriate way. Communication with road users is essential, and I would strongly recommend looking at our website and following our social media streams to keep up to date."

Winter driving workshops are being run this year to give practical advice and reminders on driving in winter conditions, how to carry out checks on your car, and to help drivers think before they drive during the season. Further information can be found on TfB's website -

Friday, 17 October 2014

LED replacement programme continues

Work on the second phase of LED streetlight replacement continues next week (w/b October 20th).
During this phase Transport for Buckinghamshire expects to convert 2,585 traditional street lamps in 110 locations with more efficient LED lanterns before next March.
Modern LED (light emitting diode) lamps not only save energy, create lower carbon emissions and reduce maintenance costs, but are also made of materials with less environmental impact.
Last week TfB replaced 111 traditional lanterns with LEDs and next week the programme continues with visits to Oxford Road, Denham and the Linslade Western Bypass in Soulbury:
• 20-21 October: Linslade Western Bypass, Soulbury - 10.00-14.00 - using temporary traffic lights
• 20-24 October: Oxford Road, Denham - 09.30-15.30 - using temporary traffic lights.
These timings are the window of work that our contractor is permitted to use, so traffic restrictions will fall sometime within this.
The scheme is due for completion by Christmas. For further information, please visit

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Joined-up approach to public transport will beat 'bus is best' thinking

A call for a new and flexible approach to Buckinghamshire County Council's support for public transport has come today (Tuesday) from its all-party Environment, Transport and Localities Select Committee.

Members are urging the Council's Cabinet to support the setting up of an integrated transport unit to drive a joined-up approach to the annual £25 million investment in all transport services.

It follows an in-depth study of Buckinghamshire's public transport during the past six months.

And, say councillors, it's clear that a fresh joined-up, long-term strategic vision for public transport over the next 20 years will better serve residents' needs, rather than the current practice of basing support on demand for existing services in isolation.

Councillors, who heard two days of evidence from the county's transport providers, say new policies should break the 'bus is best' thinking that currently drives the allocation of funding.

Select Committee Chairman Warren Whyte said: 'The image of public transport is so heavily focused on buses that other options, such as taxis and community transport, are viewed merely as "alternative". This makes it difficult to shift the mindset towards a wider view.'

They had heard evidence of young people in Buckinghamshire's rural communities sharing taxis to get to social events because they were more flexible and cheaper than buses.

The Select Committee suggests there is a strong case for county council leadership in driving better community transport schemes - and more of them - to increase local on-demand services in areas commercial operators are unable to serve.

And, it says, there is a missed opportunity to strengthen support for a taxi token scheme to more closely target the needs of disabled residents. The only scheme currently in Buckinghamshire is run by Aylesbury Vale District Council.

The Select Committee heard evidence of a disconnect between different transport sectors, resulting in a failure to identify and exploit opportunities for links between community and commercial routes.

Identifying these gaps has not been easy, councillors heard, because it has not been possible to map all 66 community transport schemes in the county to see where they touch mainstream services.

With diminishing resources and tighter budgets, Mr Whyte said the Select Committee saw the best future in integrated transport services for Buckinghamshire that were overseen from a central point to get the best value for money and ensure all partners worked together effectively and more efficiently.

'Public transport has worked in the past to meet people's needs,' he said. 'But people's employment, health and leisure needs are changing and we need to respond to this to help shape a joined-up and flexible approach that will meet our needs into the 2020s.'

The Select Committee agreed today (Monday October 13) to present its inquiry report to the Cabinet on November 10.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Chief Executive and his senior team take a day out to volunteer at the Puzzle Centre

Chris Williams, the County Council’s Chief Executive, and his senior management team colleagues, rolled up their sleeves to take part in a volunteering day on Friday (10 October), helping to refurbish the grounds of the Puzzle Centre in Middle Claydon.

The team of Directors helped out with some much-needed grounds and garden work, painting fences, cutting back trees and improving the outdoor play area at the specialist education centre.
The team were assisted by Ringway Jacobs and Guy Lachlan of Jones and Cocks Ltd, who supplied extra manpower, tools and materials for the refurbishment.

Chris Williams said: “The day was hard work but it’s been great fun getting stuck in as a team with fence painting, gardening and gravel laying! It has also been very rewarding to be able to help the Puzzle Centre, who give a unique type of education and support to young children with autism and their families.”

The Puzzle Centre charity promotes and delivers early intervention for very young children with autism and similar communication difficulties; and provides training and outreach to families and practitioners throughout the UK. The centre’s mission is to ensure that every pre-school-aged child with autism or similar communication needs is offered prompt, appropriate and high-quality education, therapy and support.

Alex Stanyer, the centre's Principal, said: “We are delighted that Chris Williams and his team of Directors have taken the time to visit us, see the work we do and muck in! Volunteering is vital for charities and even more so when you are supporting your local charity.”

Find out more about volunteering in Buckinghamshire at

Read more about the Puzzle Centre and its work at

TfB's winter competitions

This year, Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) is launching two new winter competitions. Their teams are nearly ready for winter, but the TfB twitter and facebook pages need a fresh new winter look.

TfB is looking for some winter pictures for their cover picture on facebook. To brighten up the page, the cover picture will change every week and they want YOU to help contribute. This could be a photo, drawing, poem, or even a short sentence on what winter means to you. They will then feature a different winner each week on their facebook page.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderley, Cabinet Member for Transport said, "Winter is a cold and dark season, so we'd love to get as many people involved in keeping our facebook pages fun as well as informative. I know there are a lot of talented people out there, so I'd encourage everyone to get involved and send us some really innovative entries."

This competition is open to all ages. Entries should be in landscape orientation. Entries can be emailed or posted. The closing date is 31 October.

Schools across the county are also getting involved and have been invited to redesign TfB's twitter and facebook avatars. The winners will see their designs feature on the TfB facebook and twitter pages throughout the season and will also win a trip to one of TfB's depots, see their salt stores, winter vehicles and meet the men who drive the gritters.
Competition entries should be sent to:

Monday, 6 October 2014

A40 Abbey Way Flyover night works next week

Good progress is being made with the structural improvement and resurfacing work on the A40 Abbey Way flyover in High Wycombe.

Installation of the high containment kerbing along Lily's Walk and Abbey Way (Westbound) is now complete. Waterproofing repairs have also been carried out to help with water leakage into the shops below. Deterrent paving on Lily's Walk is nearly complete.

Night works will commence during the week commencing 6 October to facilitate resurfacing and road marking. Lane closures will be in place to carry out these operations, which are highly weather dependent.
Monday night 06-10-14 from 21:00 to 06:00hrs
Eastbound (London bound) closed for lane 2 resurfacing.
Tuesday night 07-10-14 from 21:00 to 06:00hrs
Westbound (Eden shopping centre bound) closed for lane 1 or 2 resurfacing.
Wednesday night 08-10-14 from 21:00 to 06:00hrs
Westbound (Eden shopping centre bound) closed for lane 1 or 2 resurfacing.
Thursday night 09-10-14 from 21:00 to 06:00hrs
Westbound (Eden shopping centre bound) closed for Lily’s Walk resurfacing and new road markings
Friday night 10-10-14 from 21:00 to 06:00hrs
Eastbound (London bound) closed for road new road markings.
Further information and updates can be found at

LED street light replacement programme for next week

Transport for Buckinghamshire has started the next phase of replacing traditional street light lanterns with more efficient LED lamps.

This phase of the scheme will see a total of 2,585 street lights in 110 locations will be converted by March 2015, providing energy savings, lower carbon emissions and a reduction in maintenance costs compared with traditional units.

During the week commencing 6 October, the following sites will receive a visit to replace the lamps under varying traffic restrictions:

Dorney Hill North, Beaconsfield - Stop/Go - 09.30-15.30
Slough Road, Beaconsfield - Temporary traffic lights - 09.30-15.30
Oxford Road, Denham - Temporary traffic lights - 09.30-15.30
Denham Avenue, Denham - Temporary traffic lights - 09.30-15.30
Hitcham Road, Burnham - no restrictions
Chesham Road, Amersham - Stop/Go - 09.30-15.30
Amersham Road, Amersham - Stop/Go - 10.00-16.00

These timings are the windows that the contractor is permitted to work within. The restrictions to the road will fall sometime within this.

For more information and a full programme, visit ,

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Work starts on Toucan Crossing

Work to install a Toucan pedestrian crossing on the A41 Bicester Road, Aylesbury, starts on Monday October 6.

The crossing, near Jackson Road, which will cater for bikes and pedestrians, includes a 50 metre (54 yard) stretch of shared cycleway and footpath. It will link with the cycleway on the opposite side to Dickens Way.

Work should be finished by October 31, and includes 'no waiting at any time' restrictions to ensure visibility for westbound traffic approaching the crossing.

Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) says that during installation two-way traffic will be maintained during work hours between 7.30am and 4pm, and that night-time work, starting at 7pm will be kept to a minimum.

It's envisaged that, depending on the weather, night time work will be done on October 8, 22 and 23, and TfB will need a further one-night closure in November to lay high friction surfacing.

During night time work the entrances to Dickens Way and Jackson Road will be closed.

The crossing is being funded through the ALUTS (Aylesbury Land Use and Transportation Strategy), secured by Aylesbury Vale District Council.

Full details of the project can be found at

Traffic flows on the Western Link Road

Aylesbury's Western Link Road opened to traffic this afternoon (Tuesday September 30). Covering just under two miles, the link road connects the A41 at the new Berryfields estate with the A413 at the Buckingham Park estate.

Just before 9am, a small group gathered on the link road, and Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, cut the green ribbon to mark the first day in traffic.

Joining Ruth for the opening ceremony were Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, Ian Mitchell, Chairman of the Consortium of developers that built the road, and representatives from the new Berryfields residents groups.

Ruth said: 'The Western Link Road will do a great deal to help relieve pressure on routes in and around Aylesbury, which is good news for residents getting around town. Also good news is the shared use cycleway along the link road, which will eventually give cyclists from the estates a new route to Aylesbury Vale Parkway station.'

Work on the £11 million project began in June 2013 by Kier Infrastructure and Overseas, which has spent more than 160,000 operational hours in total on the project, which has been nominated for a Green Apple award for environmental best practice.

The Berryfields Consortium of developers - Taylor Wimpey South Midlands, Martin Grant Homes, Kier Living and Banner Homes - has funded the link road.

When complete Berryfields will comprise more than 3,000 homes, two schools, 13 play areas, 15 open spaces and a local centre.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

First Gear pre-driver event to launch in Aylesbury

Everything you ever wanted to know about learning to drive.

Transport for Buckinghamshire is organising a 'First Gear' pre-driver event for 16 and 17 year olds who are considering learning to drive.

The day event will give potential drivers valuable information before they start learning to drive, and provide an educational, fun opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience.

The programme for the day will include:
•A drive in a dual controlled car
•Information on how to get your provisional driving licence and how to keep it
•Advice on choosing a driving instructor and taking the driving test
•Tips on buying, maintaining and insuring your first car
•First aid training for ‘first on the scene of an accident’
•The brake reactor – test your reactions!

Experts in these fields will be on hand to share their knowledge and advice as well as providing practical training.

All attendees will be entered into a free draw for some great prizes, including 12 months' breakdown cover, vouchers for indoor karting, a complete theory test DVD and road safety goody bags.

First Gear will be held at the Aylesbury Vale Academy, Berryfields, on 27 October 2014 from 10.00am till 3.00pm and is open to 16-17 year olds who are thinking about learning to drive in the near future.

This event is being supported by partners Thames Valley Police, the local Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs), Perrys, Bucks Fire & Rescue Service and Trading Standards, all working together to support new drivers by giving them the right information to help them stay safe on the road.

The cost will be £35 per person for the day. Parents are welcome to book a space as well, so they can learn the best way to support someone who is learning to drive.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire County Council said, "The aim of 'First Gear' is to help potential new drivers gain an understanding of what's involved in learning to drive. It's a sad fact that 25% of all killed or seriously injured casualties on Buckinghamshire's roads resulted from collisions involving young drivers aged 17-24. We are committed to working with our partners to try to reduce the number of young people killed or seriously injured on our roads and to support them to be safer drivers".

For further information see the web page:

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Work starts on the A40 Abbey Way flyover

Structural improvement and resurfacing work begins on Abbey Way flyover, High Wycombe, on Monday August 18.

A series of structural inspections and investigations between 2011 and 2013, Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) identified the flyover parapets were not structurally sound enough to withstand a collision. So the road was reduced to one lane in each direction to reduce the risk of vehicles hitting the parapets.

Work - including installing safety barriers, new high kerbs, and resurfacing - will give the flyover another 20 years life, and takes account of future developments in the High Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan. Once the work is done Lily’s Walk will reopen to two way traffic.

Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport said that longer term plans to improve the environment of High Wycombe town centre meant an expensive over-investment in a structure with a limited lifespan was not a viable solution. The planned work, he said, was a good, affordable short-term solution and would improve the immediate situation.

Works comprise the following:

Abbey Way - eastbound: A semi-permanent barrier will be installed, closing lane one permanently. Lane two will be resurfaced and lane one will undergo a 'slurry seal' thin layer surface treatment to reduce water penetration.
Abbey Way - westbound: High containment ‘Trief’ kerbing will be installed along key lengths to protect the weak parapet and lane one and two resurfaced. The safety barrier will be extended.
Lily’s Walk: The traffic signals will be reinstated. High containment ‘Trief’ kerbing will be installed along both sides to protect the weak parapets and the carriageway resurfaced.

The work, which will also help alleviate some water leakage through the structure, starts on August 18 and will be complete by the end of October.
Temporary Traffic Management During Construction

Abbey Way: Work will generally be done during the day and one lane in each direction will remain open to traffic. Up to 15 individual overnight (9pm to 6am) closures of one carriageway at a time will be required, during the week only, to allow resurfacing to be done. Dates will be advertised in advance, and a diversion route will be signed.

Lily’s Walk: The road will remain closed during the work and a diversion route will be in place.

Buses: During the work, buses will be running on usual routes.

Mark Shaw, Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport said: 'It has taken some time to develop a satisfactory programme to guarantee the safety of road users using the flyover, while ensuring we aren't wasting money on a structure with a limited life. I am happy that we have reached a suitable outcome and look forward to the work being complete in October.

'I apologise for any inconvenience that has been caused up till now, and through the forthcoming works. Hopefully we will be able to keep a relatively free-flowing road throughout the day time works. There may be some disruption to road users overnight on occasions."

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Future of public transport under the microscope

A two-day inquiry hearing into public transport provision in Buckinghamshire has heard evidence from more than 30 contributors representing a wide cross-section of the community.

The hearings (on Thursday and Friday, July 24, 25) are a key part of the County Council's cross-party Environment, Transport and Locality Service Select Committee's examination gauging aspirations for public transport towards 2020 and beyond.

Set against the background of continuing public sector austerity which is putting pressure on budgets, the inquiry aims to enable the County Council to match its future support for public transport more efficiently and effectively to the needs of communities.

Select Committee Chairman Warren Whyte explained how the hearings would help the inquiry examine what public transport needs to look like in the future.

'The evidence given over these two days will help us to understand what's there at the moment, how people's needs are being met, and how those needs are changing and likely to change over the next five years and longer,' said Mr Whyte.

'It's emerging from the evidence that Buckinghamshire has a complex mixture of public transport – much more than we appreciated,' he said.

'There's a huge amount of community-led activity, and we greatly appreciate volunteer effort across the county. However, we're beginning to see gaps that need to be filled, and these appear to be related to age – both young and old – and to mobility.

'And it's very clear the difference between town needs and rural needs rules out one-size-fits-all solutions,' he said.

The Select Committee will examine the two days of evidence during the coming weeks to decide where more information is needed, and which groups and individuals still need to contribute.

'Our aim is to be in a stronger position to target support much more effectively to ensure a sustainable and affordable public transport network in a time of increasing financial constraint,' said Mr Whyte.

'We need to answer the big question about our current public transport support: "If we were to start all over again, would it look like this?".'

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Grass cutting - how it's done in Stewkley

The County Council is holding discussions with parish and town councils across Buckinghamshire about the possibility of them taking on a number of village maintenance tasks, as a devolved service from the Council.

A number of individual towns and parishes have already taken on self-delivery of such services in their own community. Stewkley is a good example of the benefits that devolution of services can bring.

In 2013, Stewkley was used as a pilot for a new way of delivering some local services. The Stewkley Enterprise Agency was set up; a not-for-profit social enterprise, which enabled the parish to provide both local employment and an enhanced quality of service for the villagers. The service they provide includes, grass cutting and strimming, minor hedge cutting, weed spraying and road sign cleaning.

People, young and old from the community directly benefit from the experience they have gained, and are also paid employees through the scheme.

Each employee works approximately 80 to 100 hours a year, and their work ranges from carrying out the actual maintenance work through to administration, health and safety assessments, and dealing with customer feedback. The team enjoy their work and take in pride keeping their village in tip top condition.

Five parishes have just signed up to become a cluster with Stewkley, meaning that each village will now have services provided in the same way by the social enterprise. This means that each of these villages will now receive the same benefits. Swanbourne, Mursley, Drayton Parslow, Stewkley and Stoke Hammond will all now benefit from the new arrangement.

In the south of the county, a similar agreement has been made with Amersham Town Council for parishes in the area to arrange for services to be carried out on their behalf. Gerrards Cross, Chenies, Little Missenden and Stoke Mandeville Parish Councils benefit from grass cutting, vegetation clearance, tree maintenance and graffiti removal as part of this arrangement.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transportation said: “Devolving services to the local community is a great opportunity for parishes and clusters of local communities.

"The way that Stewkley has set up their arrangement, and the Amersham agreement as well, are such good examples to other parishes who are considering joining in with the scheme."

The County Council has delivered a series of conferences in order for all parishes to have the opportunity to ask questions about the proposals.

The next stage of the devolution project will see more clusters of Parishes join together for greater flexibility and the benefits of collaboratively working together that this will bring.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Family days out are a summer bus ride away

Hop on a bus with the family, have a great day out, and be one less car on the roads.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, is encouraging families to 'get out there' during the school holidays and explore Buckinghamshire's beautiful countryside and town attractions by bus.

It's all part of Ruth's team's continuing campaign to promote greener travel and reduce congestion on the roads. Many bus operators offer good value group or family day tickets, and during the school holiday several attractions will be offering discounts to bus passengers producing a valid ticket when they visit or book.

Ruth said: 'We've lots of routes in Buckinghamshire and many of them serve great places to visit: like Burnham Beeches, Hughenden Manor, Waddesdon Manor, not to mention walks in the Chilterns. The bus is a wonderful way to explore the county.'

Attractions offering summer holiday discounts to bus passengers from July 23 to September 3 include:
Swan Pool, Buckingham: Fitness membership sign up, with no contract or joining fee.
Aqua Vale, Aylesbury: Free upgrade from a small to a large slush iced drink in the cafe. Fitness membership sign up, with no contract or joining fee.
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre: £5 off tickets for What the Ladybird Heard.
Hughenden Manor: £1 off entry fee.
Roald Dahl Children's Gallery, Aylesbury: 2 for 1 on entry, one free child with every full paying adult.
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden: 2 for 1 on entry.

For full offer details and inspiration about summer visits by bus please see the 'Great days out by bus' page
which contains information about bus routes. Or visit to plan a journey.

Buckinghamshire County Council continues to work in partnership with bus companies to help increase passenger numbers, promoting a greener form of travel and reducing congestion.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

'Give us your feedback' call on new parking guidance

New guidance has been drawn up for developers on how much parking space new factories, offices and housing estates should have.
And today (Monday July 14), Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet agreed to carry out a wide consultation on the proposals, which cover cars, bikes, motorcycles and blue badge holders. Cabinet Members will review the proposals again in the light of consultation feedback.
Buckinghamshire currently doesn't have county-wide parking standards, and relies on those developed by the four districts. These vary and were written under old, more restrictive national planning policies, and in some cases led to insufficient provision of parking space.
The new 2012 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) gives councils more flexibility in developing parking standards. County Council officers have been working closely with district councils to make sure the new guidance:
• Accounts for variations across the county between urban and rural communities,
• Is realistic about demands for parking and ensures the right number of parking spaces are provided,
• Recognises that every development is unique and 'one size doesn't fit all',
• Encourages 'sustainable' travel by including provision for bikes and motorcycles.
Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport, said in the past decade or so the way people travel had changed, car ownership in Buckinghamshire had risen by 7% between 2001 and 2011.
'We need to reflect what's happening in the real world,' said Ruth. 'There are now more than 300,000 private cars and vans in the county and we've the highest percentage of three-plus car households in the South-East. We need to help our residents and visitors to park well.'
Ruth said the new standards would help councils to make better decisions about parking provision: a valuable contribution to help Buckinghamshire's economy to continue to grow, while keeping the county special.
She invited people to take part in the consultation to gather views from residents, community groups, parishes, businesses, blue badge users and those with an interest in cycling and motorcycling. The consultation will run through the late summer and into the autumn.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Work to start on Beaconsfield's new cycle network

Work on Beaconsfield new town's new cycle network is due to start on Monday July 14. It will take around six weeks.

Part-funded by the Government, the scheme involves new cycle lanes, signs, traffic calming, raised pedestrian crossings, and a mini roundabout.

The improvements come as a result of work Buckinghamshire County Council has done with the Beaconsfield Cycle Paths Action Group, and with Sustrans - the sustainable transport charity - and Chiltern Railways, to improve cycling links around the town. For these improvements, the county council has secured around £500,000 in funding.

As part of the scheme, in April local county councillor Adrian Busby unveiled new under-cover cycle parking at Beaconsfield railway station, doubling the number of spaces to 180.

The forthcoming improvements - around Station Road, Grove Road,
Burkes Road, Maxwell Road and Ellwood Road - aim to make it easier to cycle to the station, control traffic speed, and make the new town safer for walkers, cyclists and motorists.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: 'With all the recent work we have been involved in, such as increasing parking provision for cyclists at railway stations, it's great that we're now able to help improve safety for cyclists on the road in Beaconsfield. This type of scheme has seen success in other parts of Buckinghamshire and I hope Beaconsfield sees similar results.'

The improvements in detail:
• Most of the work will take place in Station Road, including a new mini roundabout at the Grove Road junction.
• Traffic calming will be installed in Burkes Road, Maxwell Road and Ellwood Road.
• The path over the railway line between Maxwell Road and Caledon Road/One Tree Lane (apart from the footbridge) will widened to create a shared pedestrian and cycle route.
More about the scheme can be found on this page.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Latest on Handy Cross – roadworks

Latest on Handy Cross – roadworks
Work to form the new permanent access and exit junctions at the Handy Cross Hub redevelopment is now underway.

From the 3rd July, lane closures on the A404 will be required to facilitate the work, which will be conducted out of peak hours with traffic restrictions lifted for morning and evening rush hour periods.

The aim is to create minimal disruption to the already busy traffic flow of the A404 during the works. It is estimated that this work will be ongoing well into 2015, however the works will stop over the Christmas period, from December into January.

Transport for Buckinghamshire apologises for any disruption to journeys while the work is carried out.

Any queries can be directed to the contact centre - 0845 230 2882. Out of hours queries can be directed to Willmott Dixon, who is the contractor carrying out these works - 08457 335 533.

Come see us at Party in the Park, Iver

Specialist equipment used in the daily maintenance of Buckinghamshire's roads will be showcased by Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) at the annual Iver Party in the Park next Saturday July 5.

And operational team members from the TfB depot in Amersham will be on hand to answer queries at the event in Iver Recreation Ground.
TfB will also supply metal safety barriers and cones to help mark out display areas within the Recreation Ground, and will be helping with car park duties and litter picking.
Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said: 'This event was such a successful day last year and I hope this year will be even better. I'm very grateful for the help TfB will be giving on the day, and I hope residents can come along to meet some of the team and enjoy a great day out.'

Monday, 23 June 2014

Transport survey gives public a voice

The public’s views on Buckinghamshire’s highways and transport services will again be compared with others across England, thanks to the National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction survey.

Buckinghamshire County Council is one of 78 local authorities to sign up to a standardised survey that will ask members of the public exactly the same questions, whether they live in Bournemouth, Bracknell or Buckinghamshire.

The survey, which is being run for the seventh year, enables local authorities to compare results, share in best practice and identify opportunities to work together in the future.

The questionnaire will be sent to a minimum random sample of 3300 Buckinghamshire residents in June, followed by a reminder, with local and national results to be published in early October. To make the survey as representative as possible, residents that are selected are being urged to take part. These residents should receive their surveys from the 23 June.

Residents that receive the questionnaire can complete the survey on line if they prefer: a short URL link will be printed on the front of the questionnaire with a code to be entered before continuing.

The results will enable us to find out what people in this area think about these important services - it is one of several ways Buckinghamshire County Council assesses how it is performing and which services to prioritise or improve.

Peter Radford, Chair of the NHT Network Survey Steering Group said: "There are clear benefits to conducting a public survey in this way. As well as providing excellent value for money, it also enables everyone involved to identify areas of best practice and spot national, regional and local trends. This is not about producing a league table to champion one geographical area over another, it is about understanding customer views better and working together to deliver the most satisfactory yet efficient outcomes for local residents."

Ruth Vigor Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transportation said, "We are committed to understanding and responding to the views of our residents and road users. If you are chosen to receive a survey I would urge you to respond so that we can gain a full understanding of the views of their public. This helps us to shape our future strategy and allocate our precious, limited resources."

Transport for Buckinghamshire takes to the road

Over the coming months Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) will be attending a number of community events across the county.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport said, "I'm really looking forward to our teams getting out and about over the summer. I hope that lots of people come down and visit us so that we can have a chat and answer some questions."

TfB will have a stand and family activities at the following events:

Buckingham Civic Day: Saturday 21 June
Party in the Park, Iver: Saturday 5 July
Fair in the Square, Fairford Leys, Aylesbury: Saturday 12 July
Kop Hill Climb, Princes Risborough: Saturday and Sunday 20/21 September.

County Council awarded pothole funding

Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) has been successful in their bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) to receive further funding for pothole repairs.
The Government announced, as part of this year’s Budget in March, that £168 million would be made available for councils to bid for to use for pothole repairs. As part of this, BCC will be awarded the sum of £1,463,514.
BCC received further extra funding of £2.5 million from the DfT previously as part of the Severe Weather Recovery Scheme.
BCC will now work with Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) to determine the most efficient way to use this funding to repair as many potholes throughout the county as possible. Further information will be made available in due course.
Cabinet Member for Transportation, Ruth Vigor-Hedderly said: "We are delighted with the extra money awarded by the DfT, which will help even more repairs be carried out on the roads in Buckinghamshire. This won’t allow us to repair every pothole in the county, but we shall make sure that the money is used wisely to repair as many as possible."

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Transport survey gives public a voice

The public’s views on Buckinghamshire’s Highways and Transport services will again be compared with others across England, thanks to the National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction survey.

Buckinghamshire County Council is one of 78 Local Authorities to sign up to a standardised survey that will ask members of the public exactly the same questions, whether they live in Bournemouth, Bracknell or Buckinghamshire.

The survey, which is being run for the seventh year enables Local Authorities to compare results, share in best practice and identify opportunities to work together in the future.

The questionnaire will be sent to a minimum random sample of 3300 Buckinghamshire residents in June, followed by a reminder, with local and national results to be published in early October. Since the survey is based on a sample, residents that receive a copy are being urged to take part. Chosen residents should receive their surveys from the 23rd June.

Residents that receive the questionnaire can complete the survey on line if they prefer, a short URL link will be printed on the front of the questionnaire and they will be required to enter a code before completing the questionnaire.

The results will enable us to find out what people in this area think about these important services. This will provide one of several ways Buckinghamshire County Council can assess how it is performing and which services to prioritise, and to improve.

Peter Radford, Chair of the NHT Network Survey Steering Group said: “There are clear benefits to conducting a public survey in this way. As well as providing excellent value for money, it also enables everyone involved to identify areas of best practice and spot national, regional and local trends. This is not about producing a league table to champion one geographical area over another, it is about understanding customer views better and working together to deliver the most satisfactory yet efficient outcomes for local residents.”

Ruth Vigor Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transportation said, "We are committed to understanding and responding to the views of our residents and road users. If you are chosen to receive a survey I would urge you to respond so that Transport for Buckinghamshire can gain a full understanding of the views of their public. This will help us to shape our future strategy and allocate our precious, limited resources."

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Programme gets underway to help treat flood-hit roads

Following one of the wettest winters on record, many of Buckinghamshire’s roads suffered extensive damage as a result of widespread flooding.
Due to the severity of the impact - not just in Buckinghamshire but across the whole of the country - central government established a Severe Weather Recovery Scheme (SWRS) which is aimed at supporting communities in repairing local highway networks.
Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) successfully submitted a bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for a share of the SWRS and was awarded a total of £2,507,486 to help repair damage to the local road network. This additional funding will supplement the funding already allocated for the countywide road treatment and drainage programmes.
Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transportation said: "This additional budget is very welcome, and I would like to personally thank the team involved in securing this amount of funding. It will mean that we can target repair work to the roads that were most severely damaged by the flooding over the winter, which is really good news."
This additional funding can only be used to repair flood-hit roads. Assessments of the selected sites across the county have been carried out to confirm the full extent of work required, along with any necessary drainage works to reduce or prevent flooding in the future.
65 sites have now been confirmed to receive treatment as part of the SWRS. Additional drainage works under the programme are due to commence in mid-June 2014, with road treatment works to follow from July onwards. Work on all sites will be completed by the end of 2014.
More information, including a list of the sites to be treated as part of the SWRS, can be found on Transport for Buckinghamshire’s Service Information Centre at:
Following an announcement in the 2014 Budget statement, the Government has made a fund of £168 million available for pothole repairs. BCC have submitted a bid to the DfT to receive a share of this fund. An announcement is expected soon if the bid has been successful.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Highways work gets more local

Wednesday 23rd April 2014
Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) has changed its operation to work more locally.

The new way of working establishes 15 district delivery teams working out of three depots: the Aylesbury depot covering the north of the county, the Amersham depot covering Chiltern and South Bucks districts, and the Wycombe depot covering Wycombe district.

The changes aim to allow the local community at parish level to work more closely and effectively with their Local Area Technician (LAT) to direct dedicated teams to work on their local priorities.

It also aims to make communication easier and speedier, so that residents know the type of work the crews carry out.

The 15 delivery teams' areas are now aligned to the nine Local Area Technicians' areas. This allows work programmes to be focused more closely in batches on smaller areas in rotation, instead of being done sequentially.

Here's how it works
Each depot will have five dedicated crews: two pothole teams, one area maintenance crew, one road patching crew and one traffic management crew. These crews will work on jobs solely in the district served by their depot.

As well as these crews, there will be two dedicated 'Jetpatching' crews, two footway repair teams and two minor works crews. One of each team will work in the north of the county and one in the south.

The detail - depot by depot
Pothole crews will predominantly focus on repairing CAT1 potholes;Area maintenance crews will work on minor kerbing, sett work, slab laying, replacing broken gulley covers, hedge trimming and minor footpath work. They will also help with two-hour emergencies and 'Stop and Go' traffic signs when required.Patching teams will focus on road surfacing works up to 60 square metres.Traffic management crews will be responsible for preparing lane closures, traffic lights and road closures for TfB’s own crews and supply chain partners.

The detail - north and south teams

The 'Jetpatching' crews work with a purpose-built vehicle that can repair a higher number of potholes at one time, in one place.The footway repair teams will focus on minor repairs that can be done by hand.The minor works crew will work on footway re-construction, drainage work, ditch clearance and other work needing a machine.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderley, Cabinet Member for Transport said: 'This new way of working will mean that each area of the county gets the same attention from us. Although the north of the county is geographically larger, it is more rural with a similar number of roads to the other district areas. This change will mean that our work can be planned more efficiently, with a specific programme for each crew, for each area.'

Following their progress
TfB’s pothole and surfacing work blog is updated every Friday afternoon. Here you can see where the crews have been working each week, and where they will be working the following week.

Calling all bright sparks!

Wednesday 23rd April
Transport for Buckinghamshire is looking for some fresh new faces to join their street lighting team. Apprentice opportunities are available and successful applicants can expect a bright future in a developing industry.

The team maintains 30,000 street lights across the county, providing a 24hr emergency response cover. Advances in street lighting technology mean that the team is at the forefront of the development and installation of innovative equipment and leads the way with high profile projects such as their LED replacement programme, central management systems and CCTV installations.

The new apprentices will be fully trained and equipped for working safely in a highway environment, taking an active role in a range of street lighting activities including maintenance, installation, electrical and civils work. Through a combination of learning on the job and study, they will have the opportunity to achieve a qualification at Level 3 NVQ in street lighting, providing them with a solid foundation and preparing them for future positions within the industry. The team will help you to learn and develop your skills, confidence and experience with likeminded individuals.

If you are interested in applying, you will need to be educated to GCSE level, holding 5 GCSE’s grades A-C including Maths, English, and Science, be physically fit, able to work at height in an outdoor environment, and be prepared for being challenged and inspired every working day.

Please send your CV and a covering letter to:

Chris Hegarty-Swain
Operations Supervisor
Transport for Buckinghamshire
Corrib Industrial Estate
Griffin Lane
HP19 8BP

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Catch the Bus Week - great reasons to try out your local bus service

Thursday 17th April
April 28 to May 4 is 'Catch the Bus Week'. This is a national initiative by Greener Journeys encouraging people to swap at least one single car journey for a bus journey a week. Whether you're travelling to work, college, the shops or just fancy a day out; catching the bus is a great option.

• It's good for the environment. If everyone in the UK swapped just one car trip a month to the bus, it would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year!*

• It can save you money. Regular travellers can save more with weekly and monthly tickets. Visit your bus company's website to find out what multi-journey tickets they offer or ask your bus driver.

• It reduces traffic. It improves air quality and reduces congestion in your local area.

• It's good for your stress levels. A study by Greener Journeys shows commuting by bus to be a third less stressful than driving.**

• It's good for days out. Catching the bus is a relaxing way to explore your local area, with many bus companies offering group or family tickets.

Cabinet member for Transportation, Ruth Vigor-Hedderly said "Catch the bus week is a great opportunity to take on the challenge of swapping just one journey to use our excellent bus services. Lots of people will be doing it, so why not join in and give it a go?!"

Representatives from Transport for Buckinghamshire, Arriva and Carousel Buses will be on hand in the Eden Shopping Centre, High Wycombe on Wednesday 30 April 09:30-14:30. Visit the Catch the Bus stall for information, advice, offers, freebies and your chance to win £100 shopping vouchers and some free bus travel.

For more information about bus services in Buckinghamshire, including timetables, maps, the latest changes and a journey planner visit or follow us on Twitter @bucksbuses

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Woodham A41 roundabout works - energy from waste plant access

Wednesday 16th April
Work is continuing on the new A41 roundabout at Woodham, with the next phase due to start on 22 April.
The roundabout is part of the ongoing work for the new access road to the energy from waste plant currently under construction at the Calvert landfill site.
Part of the roundabout has already been built to one side of the A41 and the next phase will allow for completion of the roundabout, pavements and bus layby on the northern side of the existing carriageway. To accommodate this work, 24 hour temporary traffic signals will be used at the site from 22 April for a period of 10-15 weeks.
Work is also nearing completion on the Quainton to Edgcott road, where a new bridge deck has been constructed to carry the new access road. It is hoped that the road beneath the bridge will be surfaced next Thursday/Friday (24/25 April) which will allow the road to be re-opened to traffic the following Monday, approximately two weeks ahead of schedule.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Grass cutting programme launches

Tuesday 8th March
With spring in the air, Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) started its grass cutting programme on the April 7.

Grass cutting takes place during the summer months and is carried out to provide good visibility in order to ensure safety for road users. The programme is split into two parts - urban and rural.
Urban grass cutting refers to verges within 30 and 40 mph speed limit signs. Rotary blade mowers are used for this work. This year, TfB is carrying out this work itself rather than using an outside contractor, allowing cost savings and a more efficient programme. TfB has nine crews with three men in each who work through the season and will carry out six scheduled cuts for urban areas, which is one cut every five weeks.

Rural grass cutting refers to verges between village and town name signs. This year two scheduled cuts including 'rural vision splays' (cutting of grass around road junctions) will be carried out by TfB's contract partner, Robert North.

Cut grass is not routinely collected, but is cleared from footpaths using hand blowers where possible.
Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transportation said:
"We're pleased to be able to provide the service ourselves, enabling us to make essential cost savings. And more good news - you will also be able to check our progress online."

You can check the progress of TfB's grass cutting programme online

Friday, 4 April 2014

Cycle to swim Easter deal

Friday 4th April Cycle to swim over Easter and participating pools in Buckinghamshire will give you a half-price swimming voucher. The deal has been struck with eight swimming pools by Buckinghamshire County Council’s Sustainability Team. Residents who arrive at their nearest participating pool by bike between Saturday April 5 and April 19 will receive a half price voucher for their next swim. Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: 'Cycling and swimming can improve physical and mental health. This is a great way to get fit, stay healthy and save money while having fun with your friends and family.' Participating swimming pools include: Aqua Vale, Park Street, Aylesbury; Chalfont Leisure Centre, Nicol Road, Chalfont St Peter; Chesham Leisure Centre, White Hill, Chesham; Chesham Moor Gym and Swim, Moor Road, Chesham; Chiltern Pools, Chiltern Avenue, Amersham; Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Guttmann Road, Aylesbury; Swan Pool and Leisure Centre, London Road, Buckingham; Thame Leisure Centre, Oxford Road, Thame.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

TfB Think Community

Monday 1st April Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) recently held a successful conference to engage with parishes in the north of the county. Their ‘Think Community’ conference, held at the Oculus in Aylesbury, was well attended by around 50 local councillors and is the first of three similar events to be held across the county. Representatives from parish, town, district and county councils met together to share examples of successful schemes and share advice to help deal with similar issues. Presentations were made on topics chosen by the attendees prior to the conference. Road and footway maintenance and speed management were covered in detail to give attendees a greater insight to the extent of our road network, the work we carry out on footways and how parish projects can help with managing excessive speed. Parishes with successful schemes reported on how they worked with TfB to deliver these projects and encouraged other parishes to investigate further. The role of TfB’s Local Area Technicians (LATs) was highlighted with a short video outlining a day in the life of a LAT to show the councillors the range of work that is undertaken by these hard working officers. Janet Blake, Cabinet Member for Planning and Transport hosted the event and said: “We wanted to make sure we were speaking directly to the community about issues that were important to them. We also wanted to provide a forum for the community leaders so that they could talk directly to the decision makers of Transport for Buckinghamshire and feel that they were being heard. The feedback we have received from parishes has been really positive and we are looking forward to the next two!” The remaining conferences are in the South Bucks and Wycombe areas on April 3 and 10 respectively and are still open for bookings for parish, town, district and county councillors. Please email if you are a councillor and wish to attend.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Bishop Centre development, Taplow

Friday 28th March Transport for Buckinghamshire is hosting a meeting to brief the press on the details of the development of the Bishop Centre retail park, Taplow. Date: Tuesday 1 April 2014 Time and location: 10:00 a.m. Bowmer and Kirkland site office Bishop Centre Hitcham Road Taplow SL6 0NY This will be an opportunity to hear from the main contractor Bowmer and Kirkland, as well as from Buckinghamshire County Council, on the details of the development, and for media questions to be answered. Subject to numbers, it may be possible to view the site. Please email Graham Smith to confirm attendance –

Thursday, 27 March 2014

New signs to slow village traffic

Wednesday 26th March Drivers are being encouraged to drive more slowly in north Buckinghamshire, with the arrival of 14 new speed signs. The Moveable Vehicle Activated Signs (MVAS), funded mostly by the County Council’s Local Area Forums, with help from parish councils, will be moved around 40 locations across the Buckingham, Winslow and district and Haddenham and Long Crendon areas. Concerns about speeding through towns and villages is a consistent priority which residents and parish councils raise through their local area forums. Research has shown that these signs can help reduce speed by between 4mph to 7mph. They are transportable, powered by battery, and so easily transferable. County Councillor Warren Whyte, Chairman of the Buckingham LAF, said: 'Time and time again residents vent their concern for drivers speeding through quiet villages and towns. It's hoped that with the purchase of the MVAS, drivers will be deterred from driving too fast and lower speed to safe limits. These are not designed to ‘catch’ people, but to offer reminders on speed. This project is a great example of local volunteers being supported by the County Council to address local issues.’

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Notification of bridge works

Wednesday 26th March Strengthening Willowbank No.2 Bridge, Willow Avenue, Willowbank, Denham The planned works, due to take place earlier this year, were not carried out due to high water level and very rapid flow. After working alongside residents for monitoring the water level, the work has been rescheduled for Monday 31st March, lasting 10 to 12 weeks. The work will take place as follows: The existing outer edge metal beam will be removed and replaced, together with a new reinforced concrete slab, to strengthen and widen the structure. This will improve the existing road narrowing between the bridge papapet wall and buildings. In order to keep the road open, it will be reduced to single file traffic for the duration of the works. Longer waiting times are also anticipated during delivery of machinery and materials. Traffic will be managed using a 'give and take' system to provide a single alternate flow. If this is found to be unsuitable, traffic signals will be used instead. The works also involve some utilities diversions and some of the operations are expected to be carried out overnight. Pedestrian movements will be maintained during this period via the existing footbridge. Every effort will be made to carry out the works with minimum disturbance, and Transport for Buckinghamshire apologises for any inconvenience caused during this time. Any queries should be directed to TfB's contact centre - 0845 230 2882.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

TfB launch new pothole blog

A new weblog launched by Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) features latest information about pothole and surfacing work - Updated every Friday afternoon, the blog details the number of potholes repaired every week, how many crews have been out, where larger scale works took place, and plans for the forthcoming week. Janet Blake, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Transport, said: 'This blog is a real eye opener to the number of potholes our guys fix every week. It’s enlightening to see the extent of work that’s carried out; I recommend having a look so you know what’s happening in the areas you travel.' If you see a pothole, Tell TfB!

Extra £2.5 million to help repair roads

Buckinghamshire will receive £2.5 million from the Department for Transport's (DfT) £140 million road repair fund. This follows a bid by Buckinghamshire County Council in response to the DfT's announcement on March 9 making the money available to highway authorities to help repair damage to roads caused by the recent storms and flooding. The County Council's bid highlighted areas for repair following the recent severe weather. Details of the locations will be published on the council's website. Details of the bidding process for a further £200 million funding, announced in the Budget last week, to help repair road surfaces that have deteriorated, will be announced by the DfT in the next few weeks. Janet Blake, Cabinet Member for Planning and Transport, said: 'We always welcome extra government money to help us meet our residents' top priorities - in this case repairing our roads after the severe weather. Every little bit helps.'

Monday, 24 March 2014

Buckinghamshire flood recovery update 2

Groundwater levels to stay high Even though the water levels in rivers have now dropped, the extraordinary amount of rainfall in recent months means that groundwater levels are very high, and in some areas this is continuing to cause flooding. Even without further significant rain, groundwater levels are likely to stay very high for some months, and problems may persist over this period. Bear this in mind before disposing of sandbags. For latest updates on groundwater levels, please see here. Health risks Although any harmful bugs in floodwater become very diluted and usually present a low risk, flood water can become contaminated with sewage or animal waste, so should always be treated as a health risk. Children should not be allowed to play around flood water. If you have been in contact with flood water make sure you take hygiene precautions including washing hands, and removing footwear before going indoors. Frequently asked questions on flooding and health are answered here. Click here for the previous County Council flood recovery update for information on maintaining mental wellbeing. Animals Remember that animals too can become ill through contact with contaminated water, so avoid walking dogs in flooded areas. Further information for the public and for farmers is available here. Campaign for clear ditches A new campaign called 'Working Together to Ditch the Problem' is being led by Bucks County Council cabinet member Janet Blake to encourage landowners to keep ditches and drainage on their land clear in order to reduce the risk of flooding. The campaign is being supported by the National Farmers Union and many parish councils. Financial support If you, your business, or your voluntary organisation have suffered damage due to the recent floods, you may be able to claim financial relief from your district council. The following district councils have information pages on financial relief: Aylesbury Vale DC Wycombe DC Click here for flood recovery advice from the Citizens' Advice Bureau. Specific local advice and support are also available from High Wycombe & District CAB. Click here for business recovery information from Buckinghamshire Business First.

Funding means training for 4,500 young cyclists

Four and a half thousand Buckinghamshire children will be able to get safety training on their bikes with the coming year's Bikeability scheme. This is almost twice as many children as received cycle safety training under the scheme last year. It's thanks for a £180,000 grant from the Department for Transport to Buckinghamshire County Council. Any school or youth group in Buckinghamshire can apply to the County Council for Bikeability funding, which then pays for local professional instructors to train children in school years five to nine. On-the-road training is in small groups, and includes experience dealing with traffic on short journeys, such as cycling to school, being clear with hand signals, turning at junctions, and identifying and dealing with hazards. Janet Blake, Cabinet Member for Planning and Transport said: 'It's really important to give our young people the skills and confidence to ride safely on today's roads - and to make it fun!' In the past year more than 130 schools and groups have run Bikeability sessions, said co-ordinator Georgina Longley, who will be promoting the scheme during the coming weeks. Schools and groups can apply for funding to the County Council at