Issue - meetings

A350 Chippenham Bypass (ph 4 & 5) - Contract Award

Meeting: 14/11/2023 - Cabinet (Item 101)

101 A350 Chippenham Bypass (Phases 4 & 5) Contract Award

      To receive a report from the Corporate Director, Place.


Supporting documents:


Cllr Caroline Thomas, Cabinet Member for Transport, Street Scene, and Flooding, presented a report seeking approval to award a contract for construction of the A350 bypass, phased four and five.


Details were provided of the extent of the next phases as set out in the report, with some funds provided through the Community Infrastructure Levy but most coming from the Department for Transport. It was explained the five top bidders had been invited to submit tenders for the contract, with three doing so. The main construction work was expected to begin in April 2024 and take about a year, subject to weather, with advance works to clear vegetation starting early next year.


Cllr Jerry Kunkler, Chairman of the Environment Select Committee stated he had received a briefing regarding the proposal and considered continuing the bypass as positive for Chippenham.


Cllr Ian Thorn sought assurance that the positive impacts of the construction were worth the cost and impact. Cllr Thomas noted benefits beyond reducing delays, with increased capacity and safety also considerations. She noted that the only viable approach on the wider A350 project was to undertake a phased approach.


Councillor Gordon King drew attention to highways problems in Westbury including large numbers of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV). There was discussion of historic plans for a Westbury bypass which were not able to be progressed in the early 2000s, and the impact of recent decisions of Bath and North East Somerset Council causing more HGVs to move through Wiltshire.


Cllr Derek Walters raised concerns regarding transition from the expanded roads into the single lane area at Lackham.


Cllr Dr Brian Mathew welcomed the report and sought further details on the advanced clearing work prior to construction.


Cllr Ian Thorn sought detail on the assessment of added social value potential contractors had been marked on during the tendering process.


Cllr Nic Puntis noted comments in a consultation relating to speeds on the bypass.


Cllr Clare Cape noted the improved capacity at this section of the A350, but that there were still capacity issues along other sections of the road, and it might have been better to address problems around Westbury and further south.


There would be further consideration of the item under Part II of the meeting, where a decision would be made.