|Reality of traffic relief for villages on the A350|
Wiltshire Council's HGV route network map [on PDF] - still showing the A350 as a strategic lorry route.
Wiltshire (County) Council has had its priorities back to front. The greatest traffic congestion on the A350 through Wiltshire is around the Yarnbrook and West Ashton area.
An eastern Westbury bypass would worsen it here and on the A361 for North Bradley, Southwick and Rode.
Also, the alignment of the WC eastern Westbury bypass route is such that it would not anyway actually work with the preferred northern Yarnbrook bypass. A350 traffic would still go through Yarnbrook crossroads.
The alternative far western Westbury bypass route would succeed here; it would bypass Yarnbrook also.
But, on the eastern bypass alignment, a Yarnbrook bypass option was shown going through Picket Wood, which is another Site of Special Scientific Interest.
We would at one time have thought that it is impractical to consider building a new road through an SSSI.
But Wiltshire County Council now seemed to be in the mood to force nature to make way for development.
Possibly, WCC discarded its Yarnbrook and West Ashton bypass scheme partially because of the anomalies of constructing such in conjunction with its eastern Westbury bypass. The reality might have emerged.
An aim may have been to first get a road that is on the same, eastern, side as the SSSIs into place.
Meantime, the Wiltshire A350 and A361 villages will have to endure HGV traffic for many years to come.
The A350 is hopeless as a main road from the M4 to the south coast. As well as hold-ups about Yarnbrook, for many miles, from the Wiltshire side of Shaftesbury to Blandford, the A350 is consistently twisty, steep and narrow, because of the natural terrain in the area. It can never be improved. Dorset County Council has acknowledged that 'the foundations are not able to withstand the weight of traffic it carries today'.
Lovely Dorset villages on the route are suffering from the stupidity of HGVs being guided along the A350.
Traffic management and a western road to the future Westbury rail freight depot could turn this around.
A short direct western access road alongside the railway from the Westbury industrial estates to the A36 would also draw off traffic from the unsuitable old A3098 through Hisomley and the B3099 through Dilton.
An eastern Westbury bypass would give no relief to Dilton. It would make life worse by drawing traffic on.
An eastern Westbury bypass would not even relieve traffic through Westbury from the B3098, the road from Bratton and places to the east, as this bypass was intended to fly over the B3098, without interconnecting, because to interconnect the roads would mean a roundabout and climbing loop within the conspicuous area in front of the White Horse. An eastern bypass had little value, other than to develop the Wellhead Valley.
And Wiltshire Council's HGV route map continues to send lorries through the villages on the A350.
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