The Melksham Bypass
Unofficial Guide

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Archived front page (some interesting info here still)

 

How we got here     Where we are now

 

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My Personal thoughts

 

Government Cycling and Walking Policy

Abbreviations often used in this context

MRN = Major Road Network (ie. A350).  DfT= Department for Transport.  HIF= Housing Infrastructure Fund. STB= Sub-national Transport Bodies. (regional bodies) WGSSTB= Western Gateway Shadow Sub-National Transport Body (Wilts Council is only one part of this body). OBC= Outline Business Case (for government funding). LLM= Large Local Major Road (ie. the A350). CIL = Community Infrastructure Levy. WC = Wiltshire Council. WCS = Wiltshire Core Strategy

 

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 this is interesting

M4 to Dorset connectivity Highways England.pdf

 

Wiltshire Council end of year report - may be of interest to some

Final Year End Financial Position 2020-21 Cabinet

 

 

Bringing us up to date and (as was expected and widely predicted) Wiltshire Council Cabinet have accepted their own report in full and intend to proceed to a further public consultation. (see above) This next consultation will only have the 10c option (again, entirely predictable) with some possible variations included. All the other previous options are now firmly discounted!

The July/August 2021 consultation produced a wide range of diverse opinions in the responses to all the options. Route 10C with some possible northern variations is what we will be getting. What was interesting in the November 2020 consultation were the numbers against any bypass but encouraging improvement of the existing road come high up the list, but of those who did favour a bypass, 10c made it above the others, not by a lot but it did.

In the second consultation it was even more divided with fewer people supporting it and more in opposition

Anyway, have a read yourselves and make your own mind up.

This bypass isn't about local needs but part of a Government led nationwide plan to upgrade our major road system, it's not for us but for those who pass through the county. This scenario is being repeated all over the county and the country

It's pretty obvious that in the great scheme of things, barring a withdrawal of government funding, there WILL be a Melksham A350 bypass whether we locals want it or not! I feel there is little mileage in trying to stop this gravy train, the best we can do is attempt to mitigate the environmental destruction and effects on peoples day to day life it will inevitably have.

If you want to read the entire decision making process then it is here

This 10c route is the one that crosses the A365 somewhere between Melksham Oak school and Tuckers garage, passes around the canal side of Bowerhill housing estate, between Brabazon Way and Giles Wood and joins the existing Portal Way via a new roundabout somewhere between Hampton Business Park and where the K&A crosses the existing A350.

By the Councils own figures it is estimated that daily traffic volumes are often above 35,000 vehicles per day, and heavy goods vehicles account for around 8% of all vehicles along the current Melksham section of the A350. Being generous and allowing say 10,000 cars that will continue to use the existing route for local traffic, that gives us 25,000 a day, that relates to 1,041 an hour evenly spread over the 24hr period. That in turn gives us 17.36 vehicle movements per minute.

Now obviously traffic flow is not evenly spread, common sense (not often used in Government!) will tell us more cars move around during the day (say 8am to 8pm hours) than at night (8pm to 8am). So making allowances for this lets assume 2/3rds -1/3 split. Inaccurate I know but just for calculations sake.

We now see a considerable increase in traffic flow per minute during the day, approximately (and erring on the lower side ) 1,400 an hour or 23 a minute. (Took me a while to work this out so please let me know if its wildly wrong!!)

Going to be hell for Bowerhill residents!!

 
 

The above report is HERE and a link to the respective Cabinet meeting agenda on 1st June is https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=13768&x=1  although you will need to be registered with WC in order to access this. You can register here https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ieRegisterUser.aspx?RPID=26221646&HPID=26221644

I have read through the reports 25 pages and all the options other than 10c have been discounted using the same reasoning as was given in the original consultation document

The report to Cabinet in May 2020 recognised that most of the funding for the scheme would be provided by the DfT, with 1.33 million currently awarded by the DfT to prepare the OBC for the scheme. The report identified Council funding of 0.66million to contribute to this stage of the scheme development.

The indications are that the currently identified funding resources will be adequate to progress the scheme to the OBC stage. It is anticipated that the successful acceptance of the OBC by DfT would result in an award of further funding to progress the scheme to Full Business Case (FBC), which would include the planning and statutory processes and the contract procurement.

 

The collated responses to the first (November 2020) consultation is available to read online here: https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/highways-a350-melksham-bypass

I have also downloaded the relevant documents here:A350_Melksham_Bypass_Public_consultation_report_FINAL.pdf

and here: A350_Melksham_Bypass_Consultation_Appendices_FINAL.pdf