An independent planning inspector turned down the eastern bypass project. And, contrary to Wiltshire Council spin,
it never had any promise of funding.
The South West Regional Assembly published its Table 1 of priority schemes, which were recommended for funding, that did not
include Westbury Bypass.
Table 2, within which WC’s Westbury Bypass was placed, was for low scoring schemes which required work on their environmental
impact and affordability before they could potentially be recommended for regional allocation funding.
A political ploy to get around this, at the SWRA Executive Committee Meeting on 18 Jan '06, by a manoeuvre to
merge Tables 1 and 2, was heavily defeated.
A further attempt to push low scoring road schemes failed on 27 January 2006. Nobody spoke in support of a Westbury
bypass. Transport funding allocation amendments approved were for the prioritisation of other highway
The 27 January '06 full South West Regional Assembly endorsed the decision of its executive committee to keep W(C)C's
Westbury Bypass scheme in Table 2.
Despite this observed and recorded vote of the South West Regional Assembly, unapproved second-rate schemes were later merged
with prospective schemes through a subtle process of
discreet changes re-presented over several stages.
However, before any approval, environment and cost criteria must be satisfied.
Particular requirements had been confirmed by the Department for Transport.
W(C)C's eastern bypass would have had bad environmental impacts. Costs for mitigation in the
design were making it unaffordable, by normal standards.
By contrast, some of the longer-term ideas in SWRA Table 3 were wholly viable. The Waterloo to Exeter railway improvement
concept merely involved a couple of passing loops in the section that was previously dual tracked. All conditions
were easily satisfied. This highly affordable and speedily achievable proposal is environmentally positive
and will benefit the whole South West region - now.
In the 6 July '06 listings from the Department for Transport, W(C)C's would-be Westbury Bypass was under a title of
'Schemes which do not yet have approval (ie: not accepted into the Programme)'. This should have been
The Transport Minister's 6 July 2006 letter also confirmed schemes which were expected to be funded over the next three
years. These 'include schemes under construction and those expected to start construction (ie: approved
schemes not yet underway)'. 'Westbury Bypass' was in neither category.
The eastern Westbury bypass development was really badly placed, as it was inherently unsatisfactory in environmental impact,
affordability and the other criteria which it had to comply with to be considered for funding allocation.
With all procedures followed, the eastern bypass scheme could not progress.
Wiltshire (County) Council had been putting about misleading spin otherwise.
A Wiltshire County Council presentation, given to the town council etc, included saying that a December 2006 DfT letter
said anticipate funding in three years.
But..., W(C)C's 'December 2006 DfT anticipate funding letter' was fictional.
The DfT 6 July 2006 letter is well identified. It was on the internet in July '06. No Department for Transport
letter of December 2006 exists anywhere. The December '06 Government Office for the South West letter to Wiltshire
Council refers to the DfT letter of July 2006 (NB: not to a December 2006 DfT letter). There was no piece
that funding for a Westbury Bypass was to be anticipated.
There is one specific source for the funding
fallacy: Wiltshire (County) Council.
Wiltshire (County) Council had been hoping to snatch funds intended for better transport schemes, on a basis that its
Westbury Bypass was 'oven-ready'.
Wiltshire Council has wasted around £5M on a past its time turkey.
Without planning permission, there cannot be any DfT funding.
All along, 'government funding' was Wiltshire Council fiction.