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WC pitches for a Melksham bypass

October 6, 2020 8:36 PM

The government is spending billions on creating a 'Major Road Network' (MRN) across England to complement the motorway and trunk road grid, and Wiltshire Council wants to be in on the road-building action.

Although perilously short of money, WC is spending £660,000 on a feasibility study. The government will pay the rest of the £2m cost.

The money will help the development of the A350 Melksham Bypass scheme to continue to Outline Business Case stage.

There will now be a consultation, following which WC will decide it prefers an eastern route around the town. This is estimated to cost £135million.

A report to next Tuesday's 'cabinet' meeting states the benefits of the scheme to be faster travel, the opening up of more land for housing development, and improved connectivity between the M4 and the South Coast . Traffic would also be able to go faster on other nearby roads such as the A365.

The consultation will be held between the 'end of October and beginning of November' (sic). It'll be online, though with the option of a written response for those who prefer the old-fashioned ways.

If all goes according to WC's plans, and if the government coughs up most of the cash, then construction could start in 2024, with the road opening in 2027.