As demonstrated on this website, we empathise with old residents of Westbury who have experienced long-term degradation of their
homes and businesses due to the increased volumes of heavy vehicle traffic since the 1960s.
This is especially disheartening as Westbury, Wilts, is a famous railway town, with its magnificent old station and a large freight yard.
Yet this is neglected, whilst much of the bulk freight is being inefficiently carried on unsuitable roads.
Here are Wiltshire Council's rail-focussed
freight policies; they are fine words.
Thought-out transport is Government policy too. There is meant to be planning for a road to rail interchange facility
at Westbury. It would provide relief all round. But the eastern bypass route was on the wrong side
Westbury Station has big railway sidings. They need an HGV road to them.
Wiltshire (County) Council ignored the big Westbury railway hub (where the London to Plymouth and the Cardiff to Southampton
main lines intersect) in its comparative cost/benefit calculations for the alternative routes for a road.
WC's eastern scheme avoided the railway station and all public transport.
Wiltshire Council missed out the Westbury International Rail Freight Terminal.
You might also think that the highway authority Wiltshire Council should have implemented simple remedial measures, such as
appropriate HGV restrictions in the town (rather than the road to the railway station, as WC has actually done!) and an
efectual policy to reduce the unnecessary local congestion at peak hours plus signs on surrounding motorway exits to guide
HGVs onto better routes.
Wiltshire Council's freight directions send long-distance HGVs through here.
Wiltshire's HGV map portrays the unsuitable A350 as a strategic lorry route which directs heavy trucks through
communities where there will be no relief.
Westbury and the surrounding area were left stewing amidst Wiltshire Council's persuasion that an eastern bypass was the
only way for some to be better off. 'Or else nothing' has been a repeated message from Wiltshire (County) Council.
Whilst a bypass would not be good for shops in Westbury, as people with cars would more easily drive on elsewhere, it would
uprate town centre house values. But many people now owning homes on the A350 route in Westbury bought them with
all the HGV traffic taken into account. Homes on Westbury's eastern edge, by contrast, were going to be seriously
devalued by the adjacent bypass, were it ever to be built, or by the planning blight now being created. Unlike owners
of land on the bypass route, they would not be reimbursed.
An integrated western road alongside (and interchanging with) the railway would solve the HGV problem, enhance town centre
values and avoid losses.
Further house-building development often follows bypasses that are routed comparatively closely around the outsides of our
old towns. A bypass on the eastern side would have assisted the possibility of housing on open landscape.