WESTBURY Town Council is calling on neighbouring parishes to join forces and lobby Wiltshire Council for fast action over the town’s traffic problems – particularly with the feared increase in vehicles from the incinerator traffic and new homes applications.
“There’s a need for action,” cllr Mike Kettlety, chair of the highways, planning and development committee’s traffic management task and finish group, as he updated committee members at their recent meeting.
“We need to ask Wiltshire Council to become more involved with the issue of traffic on the A350 and to argue strongly there should be a quicker move to alleviate traffic problems in Westbury.
“Andrew Murrison MP made the statement that Westbury is the only place where constituents have heavy lorries going past their doorsteps. We need to engage with councillors in Ethandune, Southwick etc to get Wiltshire Council to get a move on. This working group can make lots of empty promises, but we need support from Wiltshire Council.”
Cllr Kettlety added, “Circumstances have changed and the incinerator proposal will increase traffic problems four-fold. Traffic will also increase with housing requirements for this area.”
Southwick Parish Council has pledged to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Westbury.
Chairman, John Eaton said, “We support Westbury Town Council on two issues – we are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Westbury against the incinerator and, more importantly, the need for a suitable bypass, particularly now because of the incinerator. The volume of HGVs going through Westbury and the surrounding villages is far too high.
“What’s needed is a suitable bypass from the A350 to the A36. From a Southwick perspective we support them on their vision.”
Cllr Suzanne Wickham, who represents Ethandune at Wiltshire Council, told White Horse News, “Everyone familiar with Westbury will understand residents’ frustration with the level of traffic that passes through the town. A bypass for Westbury is long overdue and I fully support Westbury Town Council’s work to ensure that a bypass remains a priority.
“All towns need to accept change and new development, but I have great sympathy with those who feel that Westbury has sufficient new housing estates and that there currently isn’t the infrastructure to support any further development of this nature.
“I objected to the proposed new incinerator on the grounds of air quality, increase of HGVs and that it is simply the wrong technology in the wrong location. Everything should be done to improve the air quality of the town and neither more housing estates nor burning waste will help in this endeavour.”
Local Wiltshire councillors Matthew Dean and Gordon King said they would mention it to their relevant connections at the unitary authority.
Westbury highways, planning and development committee chair, cllr Mike Sutton, said the government’s Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) had a part to play with their future decisions on traffic relief schemes for the North-South traffic corridor, of which the A350 is a part.