Bracknell Forest Council’s Ludicrous Traffic Data

Lots of things happened in 2003, some notable events were:

  • The last signal from NASA’s Pioneer 10 spacecraft is received, some 7.6 billion miles from Earth.
  • Europe’s busiest shopping centre, the Bull Ring in Birmingham, is officially opened.
  • Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq, is captured in the small town of Ad-Dawr by the U.S. Army.
  • Denis Thatcher, British businessman, husband of Margaret Thatcher passed away.
  • A Traffic Survey was carried out in and around Bracknell.

An objective of the annual Travel in Bracknell report is to establish changes in the level of travel and traffic flow and compare this to the targets set out in the Bracknell Forest Borough Local Transport Plan 2006 to 2011. In April 2011 the borough adopted its third local transport plan. This aims to build on the trend of increasing use of sustainable modes, easing congestion and improving the reliability of journey times on the borough’s roads.

To assess whether the borough is currently meeting its objectives we will continue to use a baseline year of 2003 to 2004 and record growth or decline against this.

Source: BFC Website

When we first wrote this blog entry we had assumed (wrongly) that traffic trends were being projected long term from historical data however it has become apparent that this is not the case, the data from 03-04 is being used as a performance comparison for current data and that current data is being used to project trends until 2026 for planning & development purposes; however the ludicrous statement still stands and I’ll get back to that point in just a moment!

Automatic Traffic Counters

Bracknell currently has 54 permanent traffic counters (see photo on the right), these count the number of cars passing (generally in both directions) at what are considered strategic positions through the Bracknell road network.

So what’s the problem?

With all of this data you’d expect the findings to reflect reality but it seems something strange is a-foot! The 2016 report shows a reduction or minimal increase in BOTH AM & PM Peak Traffic over recent years in all parts of Bracknell except for Sandhurst and Crowthorne where there has been a serious spike in traffic figures.

[You can view the 2016 Bracknell Travel Report here:]

Being one of those thousands of motorists who use the roads in and around Bracknell everyday I can honestly say in the last 2 years the roads have become much, much busier at peak times and I find it very hard to understand how this report has come to almost the opposite conclusion? Especially as it also concludes that the traffic in the most recently heavily developed areas (North of Bracknell) has either decreased or shown little change when the reality is actually very different!

So is the data wrong? Are the counters Faulty? or is it simply being massaged to help promote the further urbanisation of the Northern villages?

A resident with a degree with mathematics who had also performed an ad-hoc count of traffic managed to deduce that the local traffic projections on a recent planning application were inaccurate to the tune of nearly 400%.



5 thoughts on “Bracknell Forest Council’s Ludicrous Traffic Data

  1. sue runham Reply

    Can this be sent to the Bracknell News and maybe other papers? Ask our MP and Phillip Lee MP for Bracknell? Or Secretary of State?

    • J. Reply

      I suggest you read this properly before commenting further. It clearly states that traffic was collected in 2003 and has been every year since. Growth is then recorded against this year as it was the first year that such data was recorded. Not just for cars but for all modes. Rail, bus, walking and cycling.

  2. John E Baster Reply

    Hi Sue Runham

    Yes, I suggest you send this not only to the local press, which I now believe is now an electronic publication rather than a physical newsprint. It might be a better idea to send it to your local BBC TV (South) and ITV (Meridian) PLUS Regional Radio e.g. BBC Radio Berkshire.

  3. Jane Reply

    If this is correct it makes the council look ridiculous. Either it’s a massive oversight of such a simple fundamental process, or it’s been convenient to work with out of date statistics. They surely need to be asked why???

  4. Vic Yoel Reply

    Unless there is a fiercely fought local council election over such issues then nothing will make a difference
    Sadly apathy prevails and concreting over our green fields to generate more and more traffic will continue with the same old councillors
    Since time immemorial and before the Romans we continue to build and in fact it seems the only way that economic growth can continue to provide our needs

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