LOCAL MP Andrew Murrison has requested a meeting with a government minister to discuss the long-awaited M4 to Dorset Coast Strategic Study and its implications for a Westbury bypass.
National Highways has been carrying out the study, which looks to increase connectivity from the M4 to the south coast, since early 2022. The study is considering ten possible corridors – one of which is the A350 which runs through the heart of Westbury.
The MP has been calling for the A350 to be the chosen route for traffic between the M4 and the south coast, due to its implications for a Westbury bypass.
The study was expected to be completed in the spring of last year, followed by a report and recommendations. However, a report is yet to be published and Andrew Murrison has described the delay as frustrating.
The MP says he has been told that Minister for Roads and Public Transport, Guy Opperman, is still awaiting National Highways’ recommendations to inform the next five-year road investment strategy.
In the meantime, Andrew Murrison has requested a meeting with Guy Opperman to discuss the study and Westbury’s long overdue bypass.
Andrew Murrison MP said, “Westbury needs a western bypass urgently. The M4-Dorset Coast Study is central to achieving it. I hope we will have some positive news shortly but share my constituents’ frustration of the time National Highways is taking to conclude its report.”
Wiltshire Council representatives, who held a question-and-answer session over highways matters in the town at the end of November, told residents that the study is the “best possible chance” for a Westbury bypass, and added that the next funding period is in 2025.
The leader of Wiltshire Council, cllr Richard Clewer, also revealed that 200 HGVs are being pushed onto Westbury streets as a result of the decision by Bath and North East Somerset Council to implement a Clean Air Zone in the city, combined with the weight restriction on Cleveland Bridge, which has increased the volume of heavy traffic passing through the town.