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Bypass News - Westbury Area Board @ 7pm, Thurs 10 Oct, The Laverton

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The agenda includes the following:

Update from Western Gateway Sub-National Transport Body
Allan Creedy - Head of Service: Sustainable Transport at Wiltshire Council will update the Area Board on the long term strategy for the improvements to the A350 in Wiltshire.

The public are welcome to attend and to ask questions to the Head of service for major road projects. He knows what is happening with obtaining funding for a Westbury Bypass, which involves several possible funding sources ...

This item will be quite early on in the meeting so best to get your seat by 7pm.

Meeting details:

Just got back from the meeting. Allan Creedy gave quite a detailed explanation of the funding context and background for A350 improvements.

Here is a simple summary of what is otherwise a long and technical essay:

Forget the Local Economic Partnership as its funding stream is too small.

Government is now putting large amounts of £Billions into Strategic Road schemes (Highway Agency handles this for Motorways and primary routes) and Major Road Schemes (A350 comes into this).

WC has submitted bids for the 2020-2025 funding tranche which includes the Melksham Bypass. Expect decisions within next 12 months or so. If Melksham Bypass is funded for starting in 2020-2025, then WC will put Westbury A350 bypass into next bidding round for 2026-2030. If so, this means that analysing possible routes and outline costs etc would begin in about 2022, so that the bid is fully prepared ready for submission for the 2026-2030 funding period.

Is a bypass for Melksham really more important than Westbury.? Their town centre is already by-passed

A question put and point well made by WTCs Mayor Mike Sutton, but in reality the bypass is for Beanacre, the purpose I suppose being that it eases the flow of traffic, as does the Lacock bypass.
As always however road improvement seems to be concentrated on the North of the county nearer to the M4 and it is as always "jam tomorrow" for Westbury.
In this situation Westbury need to campaign and argue for any new housing developments to include plans for traffic relief for Warminster Rd and Haynes Rd, West End and Trowbridge Rd.
It has been suggested that in the future Westbury will have to accept somewhere in the region of another 600 dwellings, maybe some of these will be in Wiltshire Councils plans to provide 1000 council homes.

It strengthens the funding case for a Westbury A350 bypass when other pinch points along the route - all with easier routes to design and obtain planning permission - have already been built / funded.

My understanding of things is that the outcome of the last Westbury Bypass project (Refusal of permission after a long public inquiry even though funding from the SW Regional Assembly was confirmed subject only to planning permission) left a deep scar in the County Hall team and they are keen to avoid that sort of disaster again. Hence doing everything else first and seeking to obtain a sum large enough to cover the cost of (possibly) going the long way around to the west of Westbury.


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