Wiltshire Publications

If you think the A350 traffic is bad, wait until the incinerator is built!

Story posted on

PROTESTORS against the planned waste incinerator for Westbury have been gathering each Thursday morning with placards and banners to highlight traffic congestion on the A350. They say that if the incinerator is not stopped by the Secretary of State, the town’s roads will only get worse. 

Whilst holding the protests, the group, including town councillor Jane Russ, has also been conducting a traffic census. 

Cllr Russ said, “The protest is about the incinerator but has a special leaning towards the increase in traffic, rather along the lines of ‘you think this is bad, wait until the incinerator traffic joins in! 

“This was something that former mayor Mike Sutton and I planned together, with the idea of slowing the traffic up to show people the congestion. There is already too much traffic in Westbury.  

“Mike and I had the idea we would do a protest that wouldn’t involve breaking the law – it was to raise the awareness for people who live here, saying ‘this is what it will all be like’” 

The group displayed their banners and placards and members also crossed the road, which slowed traffic.  

Cllr Russ said, “We had a successful meeting with Andrew Murrison MP last week and he said Westbury is the only place between the M4 and the coast where lorries rumble straight past historic houses.” 

The zebra crossing at the Haynes Road elbow was one of the pinch points where the group crossed the road. 

Cllr Russ said fumes were so bad that they could only stand to be there for an hour and a quarter maximum and felt they needed to wear masks just to breathe in some clean air. 

One of the protestors, Gaynor Cromwell, told White Horse News, “We went to see how we could cross the road safely. If we stop the traffic as well then fair play. I turned up with a flag and placard. 

“The reason I’m doing it is because nobody seems to know what the volume of traffic is going through Westbury. If I’m going to be stood there I thought I might as well count the traffic. 

“The number of heavy lorries has increased significantly and there seemed to be a lot going through in an hour. A local resident came out and said she felt it has increased.”  

Gaynor has put in a Freedom of Information request asking when the last traffic census was carried out and when the next one will be. 

“I’m sure it’s the Bath Clean Air Zone and the closure of the bridge that’s caused the increase,” Gaynor said.  

“With the incinerator, there will be more HGVs and that will be up and running within three or four years. I’m going to have three grandchildren going to Matravers School and crossing the A350 and I’m worried for them.” 

The group conducted a mini traffic census for just over an hour at the West End pedestrian crossing, starting at 9.40am. They recorded the following results:  

• Total cars –  620, approximately 9.3 cars per minute. 

• Total vans, all sizes – 156, approximately 2.3 vans per minute. 

• Total HGVs 104 – approximately 1.5 HGVS per minute. 

• Of those HGVs,  43 were six axle vehicles, 13 had five axles, 17 had four axles and 31 had two or three axles. 

Gaynor said, “So the largest HGVs coming through West End were predominantly six-axle vehicles – no surprise to those of us who have travelled the A350 through Westbury. 

“The total number of vehicles counted was 880, approximately 13.3 per minute. Figures for buses, motor homes, caravans, and motorbikes are not included.”  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *