Wiltshire Council's Cabinet has today (Tuesday 30 November) agreed to proceed with proposals for the A350 Melksham bypass.
It also agreed to change the way forward for the scheme, after considering the responses from local councils, community groups and the public to the second consultation on the scheme, held between 23 June and 8 August.
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
We've listened to the communities in and around Melksham about the proposed A350 bypass, and following this feedback, we will revisit the route and consult again on these changes. This further consultation would look at specific points of detail along the proposed route, such as public rights of way and water courses.
We will also consider the outcome of National Highways' current north-south connectivity study, which looks at routes between the M4 and the south coast and isn't expected until summer 2022.
The first consultation had several possible route options, and as such, responses came from a wide geographical area around the town. The second consultation focused on one main route, and so many of the responses came from residents in Bowerhill and other areas close to that emerging route. If the scheme is successful at the outline business case stage, then it is right to look again to refine and develop that route based on the feedback from residents and parish councils, and that's what we agreed today at Cabinet.
The A350 is a key local and regional route in Wiltshire, and a Melksham bypass would reduce congestion in the town and improve journey times.
The council will now prepare a carbon management plan before submitting the outline business case to DfT, and would anticipate the results of National Highways' current north-south connectivity study next year. If the scheme is then approved to move forward, it is anticipated that further consultation on the route would happen later in 2022.
To read the Cabinet papers, people should go to Cabinet meeting - Tuesday 30 November 2021; or to find out more about the scheme, people should see A350 Melksham bypass.