The Cookham Plan - Transport and Traffic




3   Road Safety


3.1   Remit

The main topics investigated by this group were road safety in general, speed limits, road signs and the extent of footways in the Cookhams.  Related aspects, such as parking, have been dealt with by other groups.  For completeness, a survey of pavements was carried out which is shown at the end of this section.

2  Summary

Overall, the Cookhams constitute a relatively safe area, having a very low reported accident rate.  There are some locations where speeding is felt to be an issue affecting road safety.


Some areas which are perceived by some as dangerous, such as The Pound, appear to have no recorded traffic or traffic/pedestrian incidents and only one incident involving vehicles.  In The Pound, in particular, this is felt to be due to the restricted width, which obliges drivers to proceed slowly and with caution, thus lowering the possibility of collisions and allowing pedestrians and drivers time to take evasive action when necessary.


The Dean has many narrow lanes and few pavements, but again it seems that low traffic speeds, plus the inhabitants’ awareness of danger spots have resulted in a statistically safe road environment.


An analysis of reported traffic accidents in the Cookhams, for the five years up to 31 May 2008, was obtained from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.  This can be summarised as follows:


There were a total of 36 reported accidents, of which:


·  None involved fatalities.

·  2 involved serious injury.

·  These were vehicle to vehicle incidents and did not involve pedestrians or cyclists.

·  5 involved pedestrians, of which 3 were the result of cars reversing into pedestrians.

·  2 involved cyclists at junctions.

·  1 involved a person being clipped by a wing mirror in the High Street.

·  1 occurred when a family was crossing the road leading up to the bridge on the road to Bourne End.

·  2 involved drivers who either were, or were suspected to be, inebriated.

·  2 involved drivers who were using mobile phones.

·  The vast majority of accidents were the result of inattention.  e.g.  rear shunts, vehicles turning right.

·  3 occurred in Whyteladyes Lane, all involving vehicles turning.  Speed was not a factor.  There have been no accidents in Whyteladyes Lane in the last three years.

·  1 occurred in the Pound, when a motorcyclist and a car collided at the junction with Terry’s Lane.  Again, speed was not a factor.

·  Over the reported period, Winter Hill Road, Switchback Road and Sutton Road had slightly more accidents than other locations.

The conclusions drawn from the data are that:-


a)      The Cookhams enjoy a statistically lower accident rate than other parts of the Borough; although this should not be a cause for complacency.

b)      There is no statistical evidence of actual risk to pedestrians using The Pound.

c)      There is no statistical evidence of actual risk to pedestrians in Whyteladyes Lane.

d)      Neither of the roads has been the site of any accidents in the last three years.


Discussions with PC de Haan, drawing on his experience over a longer time frame, indicated that there are, however, a number of locations where he feels that excessive speed is potentially dangerous and in some of which there have been serious accidents.


3.3 Suggestions


1.      Sutton Road

Historically, this seems to have incurred a relatively high accident rate.

The TTWG recommends that thought be given to starting the 30mph speed limit further from Cookham Village, and lowering the speed limit across Widbrook.


2.      Maidenhead Road

The section of Maidenhead Road to the east of the cemetery is quite narrow.

The TTWG suggests that the speed limit is reviewed.


3.      Whyteladyes Lane

As detailed above, none of the three accidents reported during the last five years was considered speed related or classified as “serious”.  Nevertheless, the Group understands that there has been some concern about speeding in Whyteladyes Lane, and a survey carried out by RBWM in April 2008 showed that approximately 50% of traffic exceeded the 30mph limit.  The majority of speeding traffic is in the 31mph – 35 mph range.

The Group suggests enforcement of the speed limit, possibly by Speed Indication Displays (SIDs).


4.      Dean Lane

Dean Lane is currently a 40mph zone, which is arguably too fast for a narrow, winding, through road carrying a substantial volume of traffic.  The Group understands that RBWM will shortly impose a 30mph restriction, which it is hoped will improve road safety. {subsequent to the preparation of this report, this has been implemented}


Anecdotal evidence suggests that parking on the road near Cookham Dean Village Hall has caused several near misses.  The Group suggests that the provision of alternative parking be investigated, with a view to banning roadside parking near the hall.


5.      Speed Indication Display

The Parish Council might consider acquiring a Speed Indication Display, which could be sequentially sited at perceived speeding hot spots for appropriate periods.  It is understood that these are most effective if not left in one place for too long.


3.4   Issues Covered Elsewhere in this Report


Other concerns which have been noted, but which fall within the remit of other working groups (relevant groups in brackets):-

·        The parking situation in Lower Road seems to have deteriorated, possibly as a result of new housing development, which does not appear to have adequate parking spaces.  (Parking)

·        Sometimes several large vehicles delivering to Countrystore arrive simultaneously, parking on both sides of the road, with predictable adverse effects.  (Parking)

·        As noted above, The Pound is perceived as dangerous to pedestrians, particularly in respect of the restricted pavement width at some points.  (Traffic Flow and The Pound)

3.5   Conclusion


Notwithstanding the recommendations above, the TTWG has not been able to envisage any major initiative, within our remit, that would greatly improve road safety in the Cookhams, without harming the pleasant, semi-rural aspect which is so valued by the residents.


(click on map for larger image)