ROADS to the north-west of the town need to be changed before traffic becomes dangerously heavy, a local councillor has said.
Town and county councillor David Jenkins, who runs a ‘Lorry Watch’ scheme on Station Road, is worried that traffic using The Ham may become hazardous if the roads aren’t changed before the new business estate and houses are built.
Cllr Jenkins said, “With the increase in housing and the development of the new Hawkeridge Business Park, traffic using The Ham will increase to a level that will become unsuitable and unsustainable for the area.
“The Ham is not a primary ‘A’ class road and now, with all the forthcoming developments, it is time to investigate an alternative traffic scheme.”
Westbury’s population is expected to rise dramatically in the coming years, as hundreds of new homes are planned for the town. Over 200 are currently being built at The Mead, and there are plans for another 300 on Station Road and over 140 on The Ham itself.
Building is also under way on the new 35-acre Hawke Ridge Business Park nearby.
“The Ham was never intended to carry the level of traffic it does at present. In 2011 I carried out a survey together with some local residents which showed that between 7am and 6pm approximately 5,500 vehicles used the road.
“As a suggestion I would propose a weight limit of 7.5t except buses, utility and emergency vehicles. Vehicles over the weight limit should use the main West Wilts Trading Estate entrance on the B3097 Hawkeridge Road.
“Whilst the B3097 has been closed, some vehicles are having to turn round on the roundabout by the Post Office. Not only is this difficult but it could also be hazardous.
“If an access and exit point were made further down Storridge Road it would make the process easier and help alleviate traffic on The Ham.
“The development of a new traffic scheme such as this would take time even if it were to be approved, however the main thing is to stress and prove there is a case to justify having a scheme. I believe there is, but it will require not only the involvement and cooperation of the parishes, but also Wiltshire Council Highways and investment.
“Local residents and businesses would need to be involved in order to make the project a success. At present, data concerning traffic on The Ham has been requested by the Community Area Transport Group (CATG), which reports to the Westbury Area Board. At the appropriate time I will include this item at the town and parish meetings.”