TRANSPORT was top of the agenda at the first ever meeting of the new Westbury Community Area Partnership.
The partnership has been formed to help identify and plan for future priorities in Westbury and the BA13 area.
The meeting, at Bratton Primary School on Wednesday 14th October, was led by chairman the Rev Jonathan Burke who welcomed everyone and explained the purpose of the partnership. He said the partnership would be considering a wide range of issues in order to produce a community plan.
Westbury community manager, Sally Hendry, said the partnership was invaluable in helping steer the work of the local area board.
Everyone got the chance to have their say about transport – and were asked to think about what was good or bad about the current systems and also how it might be improved.
Having a mainline station in Westbury proved top of many lists of positives together with free car parking in Westbury town centre, and the volunteer run Link scheme.
But on the down side, some were concerned about the limited bus service to villages, the lack of evening bus services, the high costs of rail fares and the heavy traffic on the B3098. There were concerns about the lack of transport from the rail station to Westbury town centre, and that the public transport scheme was not integrated.
Suggested improvements ranged from concessionary fares for young people, weight limits for lorries, especially through villages, more readily available timetables and electronic bus information systems, and the possible sharing of community transport resources with schools and other organisations.
The need for cycle ways proved popular with nearly everyone. Also mentioned were the long term needs for traffic relief through Westbury with the demise of the bypass plans.
“It was a really worthwhile discussion which came up with both concerns and possible solutions,” said the Rev Burke.”This is obviously an issue which concerns every one and the results will be passed to the area board and Wiltshire Council,”
The next meeting of the BA13+ partnership will be held in January.