Wiltshire Publications

Bypass continues to divide opinion in Westbury

LETTERS from White Horse News readers about Westbury bypass continue to divide opinion with opposition emerging to both proposed  routes.

One resident, David Thomas, dismisses the White Horse Alliance’s claims to the environmental value of the eastern route which goes under the White Horse.

He said, “This group tried to sway the bypass towards the western route, trashing  the environmental qualities of that area, when in fact there is just as much wildlife and bio-diversity on that side.”

Warminster resident, John Bowley, believes the an eastern bypass would make traffic through surrounding communities worse. He said, “The eastern Westbury Bypass project was objected to by a majority of Westbury opinion, in the last ever survey conducted by Wiltshire Council in 2001 and by most letters sent in at the planning applications in 2005 and 2007.

“As the eastern bypass scheme was going to make the traffic worse for the relevant surrounding area, the pre-printed forms which canvassed signatures in support of traffic relief for Westbury and the surrounding area were contradictory or were logically opposed to the eastern route. Expert inspectors concluded that the eastern bypass scheme had insufficient viability. A relief road on the industrial western side of Westbury could also take lorries out of the Trowbridge suburbs and villages and the surrounding areas, as well as Westbury, and could also provide railway interconnection.  This is fundamental to ever getting a viable solution.”

However, Westbury resident Dorian Jones is in support of the eastern bypass and is happy that the bypass issue is gaining some momentum. He said, “The issues that must be resolved is that we are all agree that Westbury needs a bypass and agreement on one route, that is both economical and environmentally friendly. However I find the environmentally friendly point rather crass when England’s green and pleasant land is blighted by solar panels on agricultural land, that should be used to feed the world, and massive wind turbines that are wholly ineffective. So, the eastern route was deemed the best route, until a dormouse with a foreign passport was found in Wellhead woods which got all the new day naturalists up in arms to save the rodent.

“All the ground work has been done, so, let’s get on with it.”

Westbury Town and Wiltshire Councillor Gordon King thinks it is highly unlikely that a bypass for Westbury will be built any time soon.  He said, “The only way that I can see this road being built is on the back of extremely large-scale property developments probably to the east and south of Westbury throughout the Special Landscape Area.

“One of the significant points made by the inspector in turning down Westbury’s Bypass was that the then Wiltshire County Council had not done sufficient work in accessing the alternatives, including alternative routes.  Working through Westbury Town Council we will be shortly inviting Wiltshire Council officers to work with us to consider, adopt or if necessary, eliminate alternatives.”