Wiltshire Publications

Westbury bypass plans still ‘saved’ on council list

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AWESTBURYBypass has not been included on a shortlist of Wiltshire Council’s potential major transport schemes. 

However, it was one of the 70 schemes listed by the council when it considered how to prioritise projects for £16.9million of government funding for transport schemes. The schemes were then shortlisted against a set of criteria, which included cost and timescales.

The list of schemes was derived from the council’s core strategy, a document which sets out the county’s plans and policies for the future. The bypass is included in the strategy as a ‘saved policy.’

A Wiltshire Council summary of the 70 schemes identifies said that an ‘A350 Westbury Bypass’ would remove traffic from the centre of Westbury which would reduce severance, promote a healthier environment, and make the town more pedestrian and cycle friendly.

However, it says that ‘The quality of life of people living in Westbury would be improved but the new road would have a significant negative impact on the natural environment.”

The report recognises that there would be difficulty in gaining a general consensus on the route.

Last year Russell Hawker, Wiltshire councillor for Westbury West, led calls for Wiltshire Council and other stakeholders to restart discussions on a Westbury bypass (with no route specified).

Speaking last week, Cllr Hawker said, “The key point is that the eastern Westbury A350 Bypass is still a Wiltshire Council policy. It was never dropped, as claimed by anti-bypass protestors. The policy is being saved and passed over into the new core strategy as a saved bypass route. This does not mean that the council intends to construct it any time soon, nor does it mean that the council will not undertake further research to check on the best, most viable route. It simply means that the council is saving the policy (which is simply a route rather than a policy to actually construct it any time soon) for now and will obviously look at it later when there is any chance of enough money to undertake any such exercise.”

Relief road for Yarnbrook shortlisted

A relief road for Yarnbrook is one of the projects shortlisted to received a chunk of the £16.9million of government funding.

The link road would be a single carriageway road between the A363 (towards the White Horse Business Park and Trowbridge) and the A350.

Wiltshire Council says such a scheme would be expected to ‘significantly alleviate’ problems of queues and delays at peak times, particularly on the A350 approaches to Yarnbrook. Such queues are only expected to increase with development growth proposed by the core strategy.