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Westbury to miss out again as Chippenham bypass gets green light & A350 improvements are shelved

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Wiltshire Council’s successful £75million Chippenham bypass road bid is ‘another nail in the coffin’ for plans to solve Westbury’s transport issues, says a Wiltshire Councillor for Westbury. 

Cllr Gordon King said he was ‘deeply disappointed’ over the news, saying it leaves Westbury to ‘soldier on’ despite the ‘intolerable’ transport issues in the town. And, he says, Westbury will miss out as well on any economic development opportunities which a bypass would bring.

And in another blow, improvements to the A350 through Westbury have been shelved, with Wiltshire Council putting money instead into improving the Melksham to Bath road instead.

Allan Creedy, head of sustainable transport at Wiltshire Council attended the Westbury Area Board meeting on the 10th October to discuss the future transport plans for Westbury.

He concluded that Westbury had been removed from the new Western Gateway Sub National Transport Body’s A350 redevelopment plan, as they are now looking to run the ‘strategic corridor’ from Melksham to Bath instead.

He said a grant application  for a Westbury bypass would be made to government after 2025.

Cllr Gordon King told White Horse News, “It is disappointing because it represents another nail in the coffin of the strategy outlined by Wiltshire and Swindon Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) who rightly saw Western Wiltshire (about 200,000 population) as an economic zone ripe for development and inward investment of new higher tech companies, as the route (A350) to the market (M4) would be greatly improved, cutting journey times. 

“Wiltshire Council say they have not, but it is difficult to see how they have not wandered from such an ambitious strategy. The jobs and careers of our sons and daughters who might have wanted to remain in western Wiltshire to work and prosper has all but gone up in smoke. Excessive out commuting of local talent and human capital resource from western Wiltshire towns and villages will continue, unabated.

 “Such divergence from the strategy was confirmed at Westbury Area Board on Thursday 10th October when a Wiltshire Council officer, speaking for the Western Gateway Sub-National Transport Body, confirmed that this body had amended the LEP Strategy and that this new body had dropped Westbury from the ‘strategic corridor’ which will now run from Melksham to Bath, despite a large industrial and trading estate being located at Westbury.

“A grant application for a Westbury Bypass would be made to government after 2025 for a road to the east and south of the town, with the objective of releasing large tracts of land for housing development improving the tax base. 

“That officer confirmed, without saying, that Westbury will likely miss out on the economic development opportunities associated with an upgraded A350 from Melksham north to the M4. Such a policy lacks ambition and ought to be opposed, vigorously.”

One Response to Westbury to miss out again as Chippenham bypass gets green light & A350 improvements are shelved

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    December 2, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing.