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June 19, 2019, 11:47:42 pm *
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Author Topic: Chippenham Spur Motorway  (Read 307 times)
grahame
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« on: March 30, 2019, 04:51:29 pm »

You live and learn about your own home county in some surprising places ...

http://pathetic.org.uk/unbuilt/chippenham_spur/

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Where was it?

Wiltshire - not surprisingly somewhere near the town of Chippenham.
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Celestial
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2019, 05:06:30 pm »

Maybe it should have headed further south and become the Melksham Spur Motorway.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2019, 05:16:09 pm »

Thats a facinating website.  These ones in our area as well: http://pathetic.org.uk/unbuilt/weston_spur/  http://pathetic.org.uk/unbuilt/south_bristol_spur/
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2019, 05:36:29 pm »

The South Bristol Spur lives on - see attached grab from JLTP4... what's that blue line between Nailsea and Clevedon?
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2019, 05:48:00 pm »

...
These ones in our area as well: http://pathetic.org.uk/unbuilt/weston_spur/ 
...

Now that one, with 1974 map and the comments - look really interesting.    The idea of closing Weston-super-Mare station and the loop, and replacing it with Weston-super-Motorway station (I suppose it would be called "Weston Parkway" these days) , then using the trackbed for a motorway into the town ... surely they could not be serious?

Then I note that the M55 into Blackpool, partly using the trackbed of the old direct railway, opened in 1975 ...
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2019, 08:16:27 pm »

Then I note that the M55 into Blackpool, partly using the trackbed of the old direct railway, opened in 1975 ...

Blackpool got what its council wanted despite Beeching/British Rail's original recommendation which was to retain Central and close North. The Marton Line closed along with all the fast lines on the four track sections and thus was always destined for closure but the South Fylde Line service was decimated - it previously had direct services to London. Without the Talbot Road branch, Fleetwood might have retained its railway. The greed of Blackpool Borough Council - felt personally at the time and by others in surrounding boroughs.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2019, 08:19:34 pm »

The plan intrigues me on a number of levels. Firstly it appears to face one way ie. in favour of traffic travelling to and from Bristol rather than to or from London. This doesn't appear to make sense, not only for this reason but also because it appears to ignore the existence of Malmesbury, Tetbury and surrounding areas.

It is also a pity that the map (or the others in that series) doesn't show Wootton Bassett, because to me the M4 route appears to be aiming closer to that town than where it was actually built. I know that the original plans were amended in the mid 1960s to send it a bit further north due to the (then) planned housing development between Wootton Bassett High Street and Coped Hall roundabout, that the M4 would otherwise have gone straight through, and if it was shown that would have helped to date the plan.

However...

The M4 was opened in stages. The first section to open was from Chiswick to Maidenhead between 1961 and 1965 (which is, incidentally, why you have junction 8/9 - the original junction 9 was at the end of the motorway where it joins the A4 to the west of Maidenhead and is now part of the A404). Parts were built in South Wales and the Severn Bridge was opened in 1966. From 1966 to 1971 there was a whopping great gap in the road between junction 18 at Tormarton and junction 8 at Maidenhead, and traffic had to go south on the A46 to Cold Ashton (roundabout now, lights then) and carry on along the A4 to and from Maidenhead.

I very much suspect that this spur was proposed as a temporary measure to slightly reduce the distance, and reduce the congestion at the Cold Ashton lights. The fact that it would have been of limited use once the M4 had opened throughout would explain why the decision was taken not to build it at all.

The timeline for all this is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_motorway


ps - when I as about 13 I rode my push bike down the M4 adjacent to Westerleigh Yard when the motorway was still under construction... Grin
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