Businesses are threatening to leave Aylesbury because of the town’s traffic woes, politicians have warned.
Town councillors are demanding crisis talks with the county’s transport chief to discuss the situation, which has become a growing concern since work began to put in new traffic lights in Tring Road at the start of this year.
At a meeting last night, members of Aylesbury Town Council said although the town’s congestion is not unique, the speed at which the situation has worsened is alarming.
Councillor Allison Harrison, who raised the debate, said: “It is increasingly frustrating for residents.
“In the town centre the feedback that I’m receiving from small businesses is that it’s taking longer and longer for their staff members to travel to and from work and so they’re seriously considering moving their business out of Aylesbury.”
Mrs Harrison also warned people will be less likely to want to come into Aylesbury because of the traffic.
She said: “I’m very concerned about the effect that it will start to have on our local economy if we don’t start taking our residents’ concerns seriously.”
Councillor Michael Beall added he had spoken to taxi drivers who are concerned they are losing money because they can only do ‘one or two jobs an hour’ due to heavy traffic.
Councillors also said people are blaming the town council for the problems, when transport is actually the county council’s responsibility.
They said they need to work with the county council to tackle the town’s issues and will write to Councillor Janet Blake, county cabinet member for planning and transportation, requesting a meeting.
The second of two sets of traffic lights in Tring Road were switched on recently after nearly a year of disruption, with county officials claiming they are working well.
But town councillors say the town needs to be looked at as a whole, with fears that one accident anywhere can bring the entire area to a standstill.
Councillor Mark Willis said there needs to be ‘a complete re-think’ of how people get around the town.
Mr Willis said: “We need a whole-body scan of our transport system.
“We do seem to be breeding traffic lights in the town.
“I’m not sure that we are unique in having these problems. I think we are unique in that we have exacerbated the situation in quite a short time.”