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  • 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: www.buckscc.gov.uk/firstgear.
  • 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."
  • 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?".'