Wiltshire Publications

Residents unhappy with £100,000 area upgrade plan

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RESIDENTS have aired their frustrations about a planned £100,000 improvement scheme to address traffic and antisocial behaviour problems in Frogmore Lane and Slag lane – saying there had been no public consultation and the suggested measures were not enough. 

They say that traffic and speeding is a nightmare, there’s been no consideration for the safety of young families, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour is a growing problem and there has been very little consultation with local residents.

Members of the public attended Westbury Town Council’s planning meeting on Monday 16th August where councillors backed Wiltshire Council’s proposal to carry the scheme forward. 

Measures include reducing the speed limit in Slag Lane from 30mph to 20mph, widening the pavement and installing a walking bar, creating a one-way traffic system and installing street lamps around the area.  

The changes had been proposed following the town council’s meeting with Wiltshire Council’s principal highways engineer, Kirsty Rose, some 14 months ago. 

But speaking at the recent HP&D meeting, a Slag Lane resident said, “If [motorists] won’t take notice of the current 30mph, they won’t take any notice of the 20mph. That road needs traffic calming measures and I don’t care what anybody says – it’s dangerous.” 

He added that the residents need to be listened to, to understand how dangerous the area is and added, “I’ve heard nothing here tonight that gives me any confidence about what’s going on down there.” 

Another Slag Lane resident said, “I have real concerns – Slag Lane was a beautiful area but it’s becoming a nightmare, especially with traffic; then we have the incinerator proposal, how will it all affect our properties?  There seems to be very little consultation with residents on the plans going ahead. I worked as a Sister in A&E in Bath and saw the consequences of bad road planning.  

“There’s no consideration for the safety of young families, building houses in a highly polluted area. When will we be consulted with and find out what’s happening? 

“Some of the decisions being made have a big knock-on effect for the safety of young families that go there. For some kids that’s their only entertainment, going round by the lake for a bit of family fun. Please think about the consequences of the planning applications.” 

One of the owners of the lake attended and said, “Traffic is a nightmare, lighting is a nightmare, drug taking is a nightmare, there’s antisocial behaviour – fishermen are abused by the youth of today, and parking and speeding is horrendous. 

“I go on a weekly basis picking up rubbish, you’ve always got to watch your back that you don’t get hit by a car. The road is crumbling away, affecting our fence line around the lake. There’s a stream running underneath the road apparently and that needs addressing, as that’s a bus route.” 

He said fly tipping was also a regular occurrence. “If you could address the situation and keep in contact with residents and ourselves, we’d be grateful,” he told the committee.  

Committee chair, cllr Mike Sutton, told the meeting, “Nothing’s happened on these proposals for 14 months.  

“In terms of what’s proposed, this council takes on everything that’s said, then goes back to Wiltshire Council which is the unitary authority and we put our submissions in. They’ve come back with their proposal which we have to chip in, and contribute to.” 

He added there was not a meeting where the council doesn’t hear antisocial behaviour complaints, so they would ask the local police officer to add that to his list. 

Cllr Ward Jones said the residents’ concerns had been adequately addressed by the measures in the scheme.  He said, “We note the comments from residents who live with this challenge day by day. 

“We did say to Wiltshire Council we wanted to consult with residents before they took the decision on what the scheme would include and it’s unfortunate that in some respects Covid has overshadowed things.   

“What we’ve got now is a clear picture of what’s on offer in this scheme. The previous town council had a meeting with Kirsty Rose and talked about what options there were, and the scheme she’s proposing is substantive and satisfies the residents’ concerns.” 

If approved by Wiltshire Council, the scheme will be carried out in phases – the first being Rosefield Way to the bridge, and the second being the bridge to Slag Lane, with the first phase having an estimated cost of £50,000 to £60,000. 

Westbury Town Council agreed to pay 30% of Wiltshire Council’s community and transport group’s £4,000 contribution towards the scheme.

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