The Melksham Bypass
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Please also take a look at this site https://a350bypass.com/

and the 'Stop the Melksham Bypass' Facebook page

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2523932241180557/

 

If you have any feedback, see any glaring errors, or have anything relevant to add to this page then use the email below

owen.burton2012@gmail.com

 

Current as of December 2nd 2021

Wiltshire Council cabinet have at last released the results of the July/August consultation. Cabinet have decided (as expected) to move forward with the 10c option. The consultation results however revealed some strong opposition to the route proposed running close to Redstocks and around the back of the Bowerhill residential estate. The report  indicates that there could be room for alternatives to be considered as the process moves on and two more non-statutory are being proposed.

 

Or to take an extract from the report

" From the consultation it is clear that there are opposing views about the need for a
bypass. However, it does appear that the emerging route, or a variation of it, could
provide a suitable route for the scheme should it proceed to the next stage."

 

 

New development

At the Cabinet Meeting of Tuesday 30 November it was agreed to proceed with proposals for the A350 Melksham bypass.

(HOWEVER;-)

It also agreed to change the way forward for the scheme, after considering the responses from local councils, community groups and the public to the second consultation on the scheme, held between 23 June and 8 August.

read in full here

https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/cabinet-agrees-to-make-changes-to-a350-melksham-bypass-project-based-on-community-feedback

 

 

 

Links to Report : Report on July-August 2021 consultation.pdf

 

Map below is a big download so be patient!

 

November 2021 map of proposed route and possible variations.pdf

 

 and if you want to see what building a new bypass will look like, read this

 

2.    You can still email WC 

majorhighwaysprojects@wiltshire.gov.uk

or your local councillor (see below) with your views on the proposed bypass or the Local Plan Review

3.     Consider the beneficial and detrimental effects of the only remaining option (10c route) from a wider perspective - not just the affect it may have on you.

4.     Determine if YOU think it achieves:

5.     a) value for council taxpayers money (Council Tax payers will be funding around 20% of the final bill. Either directly via budget cuts or via CIL and Section106 money that (I feel) should be going towards improving what is already here)

6.     b) less environmental impacts both on the actual construction (HGV movements etc) and on the finished route (loss of quiet countryside, traffic flow, noise, other pollution etc)

7.     Upgrading the existing A350 has now been dismissed as an option.

8.     The next public consultation (probably in July) is yet to be revealed but I expect there will be not be a 'No Bypass' option included.

9.     Try not be be too emotive in your response; offer criticism, suggestions, observations, perhaps something has been missed out of the consultation etc.

10. Engage with the Council rather than attack

11. Email your response as well as filling in the online form - more chance of attracting attention to your comments. Email majorhighwaysprojects@wiltshire.gov.uk

12. Email your local councillors. List is here https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1

13. Email Wiltshire Council cabinet members - (the decision makers!) https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=141

14. Email the members of the WGSSTB Councillor Bridget Wayman is the chair. bridget.wayman@wiltshire.gov.uk

15. Here is the best I can find out about all the members of WGSSTB western gateway (PDF)

16. Email or write to Boris Johnson boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk or https://email.number10.gov.uk/ 

17. Email you MP michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk (Melksham, Chippenham)  danny.kruger.mp@parliament.uk (Devizes)

18. Don't just send one email or online response, keep pushing your point of view over and over again

19. Doubtless all the above are also on Twitter, Facebook etc. @dannykruger  @BorisJohnson

21. https://bettertransport.org.uk/  The well known anti-road building lobby

22. Here's what the Council for the Protection of Rural England  have to say about it

23. Take a look at the Wiltshire Climate Alliance

24. No real mention of the huge increase in traffic that will occur along the A3102 (Sandridge Hill etc) and A365 (Devizes to Melksham road). The A3102 will feed traffic from the north into Melksham north and the town centre, past the King George V park entrance and into Lowbourne and Calne. Just imagine that! The A365 will also feed all  traffic from any 10 bypass into Melksham south, Bowerhill etc (all vehicle movements including HGVs going past the Oak School will be increased dramatically. Just imagine that too!

25.  In the council's own words 'the bypass will draw in traffic from other roads' (Quote from PDF documents accompanying the consultation) Just how is this scenario going to whilst avoiding negative impacts on other existing or potential residential areas.

 

Things to consider

1.     Although Wiltshire Council must by law give equal consideration to all the options this does not preclude there being a favoured route,

3.     Dualling any of the existing roads is always a maybe, but as all the proposed bypass options are expected to be single carriageway then maybe not.

4.     (This makes very interesting reading - sounds like a done deal to me!) 150m-to-be-invested-in-two-major-road-improvement-schemes-in-Wiltshire

5.     There is a substantial feeder road being built as part of the cuurent development on the east side of Spa Road which will run from Thyme Road (off Eastern Way) to The Spa Road roundabout and  hence to the Bowerhill roundabouts and on to the Portal Way (A350). Looking at the feeder road layout being constructed it seems there will be yet another roundabout from the feeder road just to the east of the current Spa Road roundabout. It was described by Jon Hubbard during the 2018 planning process as; “the relief road”. Generally the term ‘relief road’ is synonymous with ‘bypass’. It can be best appreciated by following this link:

6.     Spa road development map   and this is interesting too https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/documents/s139814/1709248VARReport.pdf

7.     It means that 'if' WC select an Eastern bypass (as they now have!) when this road is finished, they ‘only’ need to complete the link from A350 at Lacock and bring it across to the current roundabout where Snowberry Lane meets the A3102 Calne Road, and phase 1 is done.

This allows WC breathing room, in the way it did with the A350 Chippenham bypass, which was built in sections, to mobilise for a final push from some point on this first phase, across and behind Bowerhill to join the A350 once again. This full route being the goal of WC, as it provides the dual benefits of being the most direct uninterrupted route to/from Trowbridge past Melksham to Chippenham and the M4, and opens up swathes more land to satisfy its insatiable push for the expansion of housing, with no supporting social etc facilities, in the north of the county. (I attribute the main text of section 5 to 7 above to Phil Chipper, Bowerhill see link below also)

8.     Read this = http://melkshamnews.com/2020/09/02/24801/ 

10. The existing road from Bowerhill roundabout to Portal Way may need to be dualled, but new estates currently being built or planned to the south of this Western Way section together with the existing housing on the northern side may preclude this section from any dualling, although as of June 21 there is no construction happening on the section of this site abutting this section of the road..

13. If your house or property becomes the subject of a compulsory purchase order, object to it. It must then be referred  to the Secretary of State for a decision thus delaying things. If everybody did this then it would be delay after delay for any commencement of works.

14. The country is running up a huge debt because of Covid and there is every chance that when it comes to it the scheme will be refused funding.

15. Contact your local Wiltshire Councillor and insist CIL and Section 106 funding is used to the improve existing infrastructure, not pay the WC contribution to a (unpopular) bypass.

16. FUNDING : Below taken from WC Capital Budget - Transport. May 2020.

    At this stage funding options for the medium/long term Local Contributions need to be confirmed but should include the use of CIL and S106, other options will need to be reviewed in light of the current position and will include prioritising existing funding to these schemes (= taking from other budgets = more cuts to services?). The medium/long term position will be developed as part of future Budget Setting

1.     Releasing more land for housing and business development is also a key offshoot  of these proposals. It's no secret- read this -  2000-new-homes-are-on-the-way that the longer the bypass the more development land will be released between it and the existing housing. Again we have serious indications in this press release that only the Eastern routes will be 'viable' (for the release of more green fields for concreting over.)

2.     All routes are basically to bypass Beanacre and rest of the A350 as far as Asda. I wonder how Beanacre resident will feel when, say 5 years or so after a bypass is completed the land between Beanacre and it is opened up for development, after all it is conveniently close to Chippenham. Another 2000 houses edging towards their back doors instead of green fields!

3.     References to The Wilts and Berks canal project include the Melksham Canal Link Project and the old disused canal. The original canal south towards Melksam was filled in way back and it would not be financially viable for the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust (WBCT) to clear it all out, so a couple of years ago they purchased a section of land just south of Queenfield farm (see - https://www.wbct.org.uk/mcc-projects -) as part of the restoration of this section of the canal. It isn't exactly clear because of the poor quality of the bypass route maps supplied by Wiltshire Council, but as far as I can work out any of the 10c option would either cut very close to or directly over this piece of land at Queenfield, with all the 10 options requiring another bridge over the W&B if restoration is to continue.  This canal route would have to be bridged if  the project were to continue and if this isn't already been factored in, would add would several more million £ to the bypass cost, unless of course WC decide to ignore it and squash the whole project.  I'm told by WC that the Wilts and Berks canal project will be 'accommodated' within the scheme. I wonder if this has been costed in? Interesting PDF from the WBCT