Issue - meetings

A350 Melksham Bypass

Meeting: 30/11/2021 - Cabinet (Item 86)

86 A350 Melksham Bypass

*                 Report of the Chief Executive


Supporting documents:


Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding presented the report reviewing the responses received to the second public consultation on the proposals for the A350 Melksham Bypass scheme.


Andrew Nicolson read a statement on behalf of Wiltshire Climate Alliance.


The Leader thanked Mr Nicolson for his comments and confirmed that it would be published alongside the agenda on the Councils website.


Cllr Dr McClelland reported that the A350 Melksham Bypass is a Large Local Major scheme which had been awarded development funding by the Department of Transport (DfT) to take it to Outline Business Case (OBC) stage. It would be a major improvement to the A350 Primary route which provided vital transport links between the M4, the towns of western Wiltshire and the south coast. The Melksham Bypass is required to address current growth trends and future planned growth within Wiltshire. Cllr Dr McClelland commented in detail about the options for the scheme and the second consultation, including scheme publicity and responses received as contained in the report, along with proposals for moving the scheme forward.


The Cabinet commented on the proposals and in particular the need to respond to climate change issues, a call for reductions in carbon emissions and the promotion of alternative forms of transport. However, the Cabinet noted that Wiltshire was a rural county with an economy increasingly reliant on vehicles. The growth in the number of hybrid and electric vehicles was welcomed. It was noted that many vehicles, including HGV’s travel through the centre of Melksham, very close to residential properties and a bypass would help to ease congestion and subsequent health issues being experienced by residents along town centre routes.


Cllr Ian Thorn encouraged the Cabinet to be brave in making its decision on the proposals, based on the evidence before them. He felt that on balance the opportunities outweighed any negatives of the scheme.


Cllr Jon Hubbard thanked the Cabinet and officers for a good consultation, including attendance at Town Council and Area Board meetings, which offered the public an opportunity to raise any issues. Cllr Hubbard confirmed that congestion was a major issue in Melksham and the proposals were welcomed.


Cllr Nick Holder reported that there appeared to be a misunderstanding amongst residents that a final decision was being made by Cabinet at this meeting. Cllr Dr McClelland and officers confirmed the next stages of the scheme were detailed in the report which indicated that a final decision on the scheme would take a number of years to be made and was dependant on an outline business case, a full business case, further non-statutory consultation, preparation of a planning application, statutory orders and review by the Department for Transport, if approved funding would be provided to enable the construction of the scheme.


Cllr Gordon King commented on the projected start date for the project and highlighted the ongoing request for a Westbury bypass.


Cllr Brian Mathew welcomed the schemes inclusion of walking routes for residents  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86