Wiltshire Publications

‘What about Westbury?’

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Councillor hits out at ‘bypass for Chippenham’ plan; “it’s high time Government and Wiltshire Council got their priorities right”

WILTSHIRE councillor for Westbury, Gordon King, is ‘massively disappointed’ at Wiltshire Council’s bid for funding a new relief road in Chippenham when there is no plan to relieve congestion in Westbury. 

Wiltshire Council has bid for £75million of ‘infrastructure funding’ from the government to support the growth of Chippenham, plans which include a new road to the east and south of Chippenham, linking the A350 at the northern and southern ends of the town, as well as carrying out specific improvement works at J17 on the M4.

Westbury councillor Gordon King says this news is ‘massively disappointing’ for Westbury as it will push back long-awaited infrastructure developments in Westbury. 

He said, “What Westbury has suffered from for years is unplanned and uncontrolled development without any thought of improving our infrastructure to help with the increased traffic or help the town grow as a viable centre.

“This bid is a major distraction from and disruption to the A350 regeneration strategy and it does not represent value for money and is wholly lacking in vision and innovation.

“When Wiltshire lost control of its development land supply, Westbury took the hit of unplanned large-scale housing development that has added pressure on the town. So many residents said to me that what they prefer is to see infrastructure development before housing development and once again, both the Government and Wiltshire Council have got it wrong. Whilst they continue to fail us, Westbury remains the only market town in Wiltshire with a primary route running through its heart, drowning under the weight of traffic on its roads. 

“It is high time Government and Wiltshire Council got their priories right.”

Cllr Philip Whitehead, leader of Wiltshire Council, talking about the Chippenham bid said, “These kinds of opportunities and funding levels don’t happen very often, so it was important that a very strong case for funding was submitted. Our bid is bold and transformational and will make a positive change to people’s lives across Chippenham and the surrounding areas.

“Some of Chippenham’s infrastructure is already at capacity which causes problems for the residents every day of the week. This investment is essential not only to provide a sustainable network fit for the 21st century but also to enable growth both in employment and housing in Chippenham. Improvements will also include enhancement of the town centre and access to it, new community facilities and new public green space for the enjoyment of all Chippenham residents.”

It is anticipated the Government will announce successful bids by the end of December 2019.