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Author Topic: A350 upgrades?  (Read 1273 times)
Markscottuk
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« on: October 19, 2020, 06:17:57 pm »

With plans to  fully dual the A350 from J17 to Lackham, and the plans to reroute the A350 around Melksham, I was thinking about how it could all tie together. 

At Lackham Roundabout, the southbound A350 could project in a southbound direction, cross over "Easton Road" (the one from the A350 to the A4) in line with the railway, cross over Corsham Road and Folly Lane then curve to the left to rejoin the old/current A350 at a roundabout where it picks up the Melksham Eastern Bypass.

Both the Lacock and Melksham bypasses could be built to Dual Carriageway standards, either now or in the future and link up with a dualled Semington Bypass.

The only problem then is how to continue the road down to the West Ashton diversion and bypass Westbury, then down to an improved A303 junction.

It may be wishful thinking but with the current and proposed improvements in the pipeline, and the desire to make the A350 a north / south Expressway, it may not be so much of a fantasy.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2020, 06:35:08 pm »

With plans to  fully dual the A350 from J17 to Lackham, and the plans to reroute the A350 around Melksham, I was thinking about how it could all tie together. 

[snip]

It may be wishful thinking but with the current and proposed improvements in the pipeline, and the desire to make the A350 a north / south Expressway, it may not be so much of a fantasy.

Hi, Mark ... Lisa and I were just discussing the Melksham bypass proposals that will be in consultation soon, wider elements along the A350, pinch points cleared and created and indeed the abstraction of traffic from other north-south routes.  With the whole alongside the zero carbon, public transport, and cycling and walking agendas with the town. We are headed for an interesting few months; I am in listening and learning mode, weighing up the elements.
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2020, 06:44:48 pm »

Suddenly lots of news on this one:

https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/melksham-bypass-engagement

Quote
Wiltshire Council's cabinet has today (Tuesday 13 October) approved plans for a non-statutory engagement exercise into a proposed A350 bypass around Melksham.

The council is currently exploring the case for a new bypass to take the A350 around Melksham, and later this month will be seeking the views of residents, businesses, town and parish councils, and other stakeholders on the progress made so far, and the proposed route options.

The council will present the progress of the project so far at the Melksham Area Board public meeting on Wednesday 4 November, and then give people the opportunity to take part in an initial engagement exercise. More information on the engagement exercise and how people can have their say will be available soon.

The engagement exercise will seek feedback on the early stages of the scheme development as the council creates an outline business case. It will be followed by further consultation later in 2021.

To answer wozitgonnacost and oozgonnapay4it:

Quote
The scheme is being promoted through the DfT's Large Local Majors Fund, which is intended to support a small number of large local highway authority road schemes that could not be funded through normal routes. If approved, the scheme could cost around ?135m in total, but this would depend on the route option chosen.

To a very great extent, this bypass is a separate issue to public transport upgrades.

I don't see many buses or coaches using the bypass if it's built,  nor the heavy freight that comes through on the railway from Southampton to the Midlands and North, and from the Somerset quarries to points east of us.   The main benefits in terms of people and freight moving would be to towns like Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster and perhaps Froome, and also to the A36 / A46 flow around and through Bath, rather than to Melksham.   Some benefits to Melksham such as moving traffic away from Beanacre and the north end of the town past McDonalds - yes, good news, but really this bypass isn't for use by the residents.

Let's hope that requests for a tenth of that money for public transport scheme are not met with us being told we're greedy having had #135 million spent on us, and it's the turn of others.  This proposal is not primarily to benefit us even though it is in our area.
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2020, 02:56:05 pm »

In preparation to a meeting this evening ... I've been giving this further thought.

A bypass for Melksham?

On the cards - a serious proposal for Melksham bypass or relief road to carry traffic from the A350 trunk road near Lacock to rejoin the A350 to the south.  It is proposed in order to take through vehicles away from the Beanacre and the northern area of the town, giving them a more efficient journey.

Three options have been suggested - as per this diagram.  All include a new link road from the current A350 just to the south of Lacock - instead of sweeping to the right and through Beanacre, the main road would carry on ahead, cross the River Avon, then on across farmland to the A3102 road to the east of Melksham.  From there, the options differ.



Option A - shown in red on the diagram - takes traffic along the existing eastern relief road including the section currently under construction to the area of The Spa roundabout, then across (via the A365) to rejoin the A350 at the north end of the Semington Bypass.

Option B - shown in purple on the diagram - carries on beyond the A3102, crosses the A365 Devizes Road out beyond Melksham Oak School, then loops around Bowerhill to joining the A350 Semington Bypass to the north of the Kennet and Avon Canal

Option C - shown in brown on the diagram - also carries on beyond the A3102, crosses the A365 Devizes Road out beyond Melksham Oak School, but the carries on across the Kennet and Avon Canal to rejoin the A350 near the southern end of the Semington Bypass.

There is little doubt that each option listed would cost successively more to build, but would bring a greater reduction in journey time for traffic headed from the M4 motorway and Chippenham to the north to Trowbridge, Westbury and Warminster to the south. 

There is also a wider picture too. Should the new road give sufficiently good a journey, it will encourage the further displacement of through traffic that uses the Claverton Bridge in Bath (A46 / A36 route from the M4 to the south coast) onto the A350. It may also suck traffic from the A338 and even A34 routes onto the A350, and offer attractive alternative routes for traffic from Devizes, Frome and the Mendip quarries onto the national trunk road / motorway network.

All three options should reduce traffic through Beanacre and North Melksham. Option A would bring an increase in traffic on the Eastern relief road and into the area between Melksham Town and Bowerhill in the area of The Spa, and depending on new (and currently ongoing) changes in that area may give rise to new congestion and air quality concerns.

Benefits to traffic to and from Melksham itself of options B and C would depend on any junction layouts:
1. Where the bypass leaves the A350 south of Lacock
2. Where the bypass crosses Woodrow Road / Lower Woodrow
3. Where the bypass crosses the A3102 (Calne Road)
4. Where the bypass crosses the A365 (Devizes Road)
5. Where the bypass rejoins the A350 towards the south

1. It is likely that a junction would be provided to allow continued access from Beanacre and the north end of Melksham to the A350 towards Lacock / Chippenham and vice versa. Without such a link, traffic from Chippenham to Beanacre would need to loop right around Melksham, pass though the town centre, or use country lanes on the Corsham side.  The case for an exit from the south into Beanacre (and vice versa) is less clear.

2. The lane at Woodrow is heavily used by traffic from East Melksham headed north at present.  It is also part of the national cycle way. Whilst no doubt a junction could be build here, it would probably be preferable to take the opportunity to divert the current "rat run" that uses it via the A3102 junction, and take the opportunity to turn Woodrow Road / Lower Woodrow into a Quiet Lane, completing a safe cycling and walking route all the way from Trowbridge via Melksham to Chippenham

3. A junction at the A3102 allowing traffic to leave/join the new bypass (or the end of the bypass if option (A) is taken) would be vital if the new road were to provide any practical benefit to Melksham Town (pulling traffic away from there) and the east of the town (providing a much improved route to Chippenham and north thereof). Allowing traffic from north to east (and vice versa) would pull through traffic away from the town centre.

4. A Junction on the A365 (Devizes Road) near Melksham Oak School could provide easier school access for some, also access to Bowerhill residential and commercial areas from the North, and a route through Sells Green to Devizes. What happens here / what would be useful is very much related to what is or is not provided at the neighbouring crossing of the A3102 junction (3) and whether the new road ends just south of Bowerhill (option B) or carries on across the canal to Semington (option C).

5. The final junction back onto the A350 needs to be South facing.  It should probably be designed to allow traffic on and off the A361 at Semington, in both the Devizes and Trowbridge directions. Should option (B) be selected and Junction no. 4 be omitted, there is a strong case for provision to be made for traffic from the north to businesses in Bowerhill and vice versa. 

Other considerations

1. The Wilts and Berks Canal from Melksham to Lacock, and public footpaths to the east and south of Melksham should be retained with bridges or subways.

2. There is a good case for a cycle and foot path on the bridge over the River Avon, and a review of other cycling, walking and public transport potential should be undertaken.

3. The new bypass has the potential to encourage wider traffic to the area, and in the light of this our Highways team should be considering capacity and safety to the north at locations such as Lacock traffic lights and around the Chippenham Bypass. Consideration should also be given to traffic between Yarnbrook, Frome and Warminster and how to best serve that without adding pressure within the town of Westbury.  A link road alongside the railway from the West Wilts Trading Estate to Frome Market on the A36 has been suggested in the past.

4. Rail rather than road remains the best option for heavy, long distance freight. The perceived need to expand this corridor for road traffic helps to confirm the need to expand it for rail too, and a re-instatement of the second track between Chippenham and Trowbridge would allow for growth quarry traffic, international traffic from Southampton to The Midland and North, as well as a more frequent passenger service to be run along this demonstrably growing corridor.  We note that Network Rail has proposed electrification of the railway through Melksham as a core part of its ongoing program.

5. The bypass proposals do just little for Melksham's public transport needs. They mean that buses will not get so congested to the north of the town, and they will psychologically bring the station closer to the town too as the busy road between them gets lets busy.  It may also offer an opportunity for additional bus stops to serve the station on both the current A350 and A365 roads which have been impractical in the past due to the volume of traffic through those pinch points.

In concluding, we should be guarded against the "alternative close" - where we are being offered a choice between "A", "B" and "C", and should perhaps be taking a wider look - asking questions such as "Do we actually need any of them" and "Is there a better alternative"?

Various other suggestions have been mooted but are not currently on the table - such as a Western bypass rather than one to the east - we understand this to be a more expensive and difficult option due to a long crossing of the flood plane. It has also been suggested that the A46 and A36 to the west of Bath might be linked by a section of road from the A4 Batheaston Bypass (which already provides the river bridge) to the A36 a few hundred yards away; although an area of great beauty, that concern appears to have been overcome as there is now modern housebuilding going on very close by in the curve of Bathampton Junction.
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2020, 03:59:16 pm »

wozitgonnacost and oozgonnapay4it:
They're a great duo, some of their best performances were under the names Grouchy Marks and Bottom Dollar.
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2020, 06:50:16 am »

Not knowing the area my first reaction to Option C was that the landowners "within" it will be thinking whoopee we can build lots of houses.
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2020, 06:53:31 am »

This maybe something to spawn off elsewhere rather than the Coffee Shop - I'm not sure on that; it very much relates to travel along the corridor as a whole, and an appropriate passenger train service (at least once an hours, 7 days a week, early morning to late evening on all 7 days) in addition to heavy freight must remain an objective.  We have achieved a great deal already - a move from an unusable service to a usable but poor/thin one ... and following steps are on the cards working with sensible projections and with partners.



Thank you to the Melksham Area Board of Melksham Council for arranging a presentation last night on proposals for a Melksham Bypass - current budget many, many millions (135) ... current timescale quite a few years (7) ... steps along the way, so many that what we see on paper now may not resemble what gets built in due course.

The presentation was by Steve Wilson - a (or the?) Major Highways Project Engineer with Wiltshire Council. Clearly research has already gone into this, and it was clearly presented. Clearly work has already been done with many more options (including wider ones such as "do nothing" and "improve sustainable transport") apparently considered and ruled out - at least as sole solutions to ... well ... what the current and future problems to be solved actually are is another article and discussion.

Missing from the evening was discussion on wider ones such as "what happens to the traffic when it gets off the southern end of the Melksham Bypass and towards Westbury" and "with a road loop around Melksham, will that lead to the filling in of the enclosed space by housing".  The chair declared such questions to be "political" and said he would refer them to the cabinet member responsible (who hadn't as far as I could see joined us on Teams) and get answers; I hope he succeeds - in both getting replies, and in having those replies actually address the questions asked.  The chair called for questions and a flurry of hands went up ... perhaps half a dozen asked but we got to "we need to move on I will just take this group" rather than "are there any more questions" or "is there anything we have not addressed yet" - and in spite of that he declared that "everyone has had a chance to ask ..." as he concluded - yeah, we all had a chance, but only those who rushed in actually got listened to, and the more thoughtful of us who wanted to raise matters of substance based on the presentation weren't able to do so.

Copied below - the very first slide from the presentation set showing very clear regional objectives rather than more local ones.  And there is a website and consultation process open until 30th November too. Statement is "this is not a statutory consultation but an extra one - hence the short period as we have many steps and need to not delay" and "we want to hear from the public".  I rather suspect an intent to see if the hottest potatoes can be avoided along the way, but also an intent to build an ammunition belt with bullets labelled "but you didn't raise that when you had the chance" and "we DID ask and no-one objected".



Many of the questions were answered with a reference to the WebTAG transport appraisal system - "we have no choice - need to follow the legal / national standards".  Indeed - except that WebTAG could really do with an update to reflect minor (ha,ha) changes that will or might effect us into the long term and have become apparent since it was set up.  Little things like clean air, carbon neutral, climate change, change in people's travel and work habits and coronavirus. We do need to do our best to ensure that changes for the 2030s are fit for the 2030s and not based on models and assumptions which are already outdated and incorrect in 2020.

Our MP - Michelle Donelan - took a break from covid and university work, and said a few words. She asked if the consultation period could be extended; a difference of view between her (with a suggestion that people will be far too busy dealing with personal life problems at present to consult within 4 weeks) and the chair (who suggested it was a good time as people have much more time on their hands at the moment to read the documents).  I suspect that the period will not be extended, but it was a popular thing to ask for, and if it does become longer, what's a few weeks in a 7 year scheme (though delays add up!)

Michelle also confirmed that a loop - whether it truly bypasses Melksham, or simply bypass the difficult section through Beanacre and dumps through traffic onto the eastern access road instead - will provide a natural pool for the extension of housing "perhaps doubling the town in size".  I appreciate the confirmation of that; at first thought the reaction may be "oh my goodness" but having been involved in / looked at various growth elements over a number of years, it may be "oh my goodness - but it makes sense".  It also raises many more things to discuss and think over.

The consultation was launched last night, until 30th November. Said to be online during the event, but I'm not yet getting a URL in "News and Communications" from the Council ... found it at https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/highways-a350-melksham-bypass which was on one of the slides last night.

I have been listening and learning thus far ... my personal view being that the community should work with the councils and other parties at all levels as we change and develop fit for the future.  Protest has its place, but partnership can bear so many more and better fruits. At times, as a community we do have a trust problem;  a previous (elected) cabinet member telling us to stop wasting time by writing in to raise concerns, and the present one getting irritated in public at what were concerns that really needed to be address about the Wiltshire / Somerset boundary ( an apparently excellent option for a Westbury avoider road steps into Somerset - but asking about the boundary was reported back as "wasting time").  And long-made promises, such as "no construction traffic through the Market Place" are withdrawn when it's found that - because of design changes - the promise in no longer to be kept.  There are a lot of good expert people doing a lot of good work to the best of their intent and ability; sadly, there are some / those who find the public an irritant, and there are also some who, one feels, have their own goals which are at odds with the community.  Now - if we can show the first group that we can work with and help them, and learn goals and see if they can all be achieved or compromised, we have a far better outcome than raising flags of protest which can damage relationships and progress for a very long time indeed.
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2020, 06:59:47 am »

Not knowing the area my first reaction to Option C was that the landowners "within" it will be thinking whoopee we can build lots of houses.

Funny you should say that ... the question of infill was raised (see my post in the last few minutes, which was being written prior to your comment).  Interesting question as to whether infill would be a good thing ... overall, some of the $64k questions ...
* Do we need a new bypass anyway?
* What's the point of a short route (A) that just transfers the problem to other roads and doesn't do a full job?
* Is there a danger (and / or would it be good) to have infill between the (bigger) town and a bypass?
* What will all this traffic do when it reaches Yarnbrook / Westbury anyway?
* Can we work with, trust, partner the councils or do they see the public as an evil necessity?
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2020, 10:30:30 am »

This maybe something to spawn off elsewhere rather than the Coffee Shop - I'm not sure on that ...

Carrying on - one more post here - duplicated on Facebook

"I don't want a highway with traffic all hours passing the back of my house - it would spoil the quiet, block the way to the pretty countryside, bring noise and pollution of the air and lower the value of my property - so I object to the plans / proposals / suggestions and will fight them". That's a viewpoint people are perfectly entitled to take, but taken alone and in that tone unlikely to have maximal effect on the way the plans move forward for the speaker or for those in his home, the community around him, or the wider community.

Better to consider why the proposals are being made in the first place, to understand the issues involved, to look at the motivation ( personal, principle, political and technical ) of those making them, and to look to make positive suggestions (and, hesitantly, I will use the word "arguments") which will help provide everyone with a way forward that meets their desires, though perhaps with some compromises on the individual ideals for the overall result for everyone.

I'm inspired to write the above, initially as a private citizen, in response to the current consultation concerning a "Melksham Bypass".

I have grave concerns about this and other new major road construction, in terms of the effect of the construction and operations of the road on our town, and on the wider region too - going as wide as the whole planet's infrastructure. And I have concerns at the the knock on effect of "building this road" as to whether it's going to simply move the issues that may need solving elsewhere, or just be one of a number of dominoes that are going to be knocked over in sequence as part of a far bigger picture. I note that our government is suggesting an end to fossil fuel private vehicles in ten years, yet proposing developments that will carry more vehicles around and past the area that won't come into operation for seven years (and we know who schedules can slip!) and will be based on analysis (called "webTAG", I understand) that looks forward to the case for the next sixty years.

And at the same time as those concerns, I also appreciate many of the aspects that the proposals are looking to address - such as economic lifeblood traffic being expensively delayed as it passes through the area, and of that traffic causing noise, pollution and other road issues through Beanacre and North Melksham, and in a way that will surely grow in the future unless "something is done about it". There is a desire to look for solutions within our own experience (and we have plenty of road building experience in Wiltshire) and under our own control (Wiltshire / Western Gateway) and to mark down as "too much hard work" and "too risky" too much cross-boundary working, and too much looking and working outside the box of experience. But what would have been done 10 or 20 years ago - with metrics that are the basis for WebTAG - may not be the experience that indicated best actions for the future. And building a road empire criss-crossing Wiltshire - a county landlocked by other authorities - may not be our best (or even a sensible long term solution, even if it cements its promoter's places in history.

Let's all take a look at where we are, what our objectives are, what the objectives of all the other parties are and work out what (if anything) we need to move forward. Let's learn about each other and partner for a best path forward. That involves rational and detailed analysis, it involves time and trust, and it involves being open to compromise. These aspects are not easy, but they give the beat way forward. I have been fortunate, in a number of local schemes, to have worked with both governmental (local and national) people, and commercial providers, to help steer certain projects in what I and others have felt to be a direction modified from the initial proposals; whether I can claim any credit for the current train service, retaining evening buses from Bath, or getting (still to be built, though) new Library and leisure facilities in the town I will leave others to judge, but I do look forward to seeing Melksham move positively forward over coming years - with neighbourhood plan, greener, cleaner and totally better transport, and with current issues such as delays and congestion through Beanacre and North Melksham (they are an example not a whole list) being addressed without the addition of other major new none-positive issues.

Questions to follow ...
"Why is a look being taken at the flow of road traffic around Melksham?"
"How do we ensure best community input to help ensure an excellent outcome?"
"What are the details of the various suggestions being made?"
"What potential issues do with with our local knowledge and views (and having to live with the outcomes) want to alert the planners / promoters to?"
"What do with with our local knowledge and views (and having to live with the outcomes) want to encourage"
"How can we improve the various suggestions to make them [more acceptable / even better]?"
"Can we co-ordinate community views rather than having such fragmented responses that none of the responses really gets taken into account in final works?"



Illustration - bypass aspects (1) ... all pictures taken during the November lockdown showing council maps of what they are proposing, traffic on the current main North-South road (A350) and other routes involved (Eastern Relief Road and New Road), car parking on Station Approach and the countryside between Bowerhill and the Kennet and Avon Canal.



Addition - for the Coffee Shop.   It strikes me that there is a very positive message from Wiltshire Council in acknowledging the importance of the north-south corridor that goes through Melksham - an excellent piece of supporting evidence for improving the rail inftastructure for both short and long distance journeys.   Please may we have capacity improvements, passenger trains at a respectable frequency (that's at least hourly) and then also welcome extra freight passing through from places to the south headed for the Midlands and North.
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2020, 05:21:24 pm »

Quote
I note that our government is suggesting an end to fossil fuel private vehicles in ten years, yet proposing developments that will carry more vehicles around and past the area that won't come into operation for seven years (and we know who schedules can slip!) and will be based on analysis (called "webTAG", I understand) that looks forward to the case for the next sixty years

The government is actually proposing an end to the sale of new fossil fuel private vehicles.  We will still have the older vehicles, the new electric vehicles and the commercial vehicles so there will be little change in the overall volume of traffic for 20 plus years. As Grahame has said it is necessary to improve the rail to reduce the traffic levels.
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2020, 06:03:20 pm »

How greenly is the council presenting this road? I ask because in Wokingham BC has just opened its latest new bit of road, and some of its choice of wording struck me as new:
Quote
Why we're building an Arborfield relief road

A sustainable new village with about 3,500 new homes is being built on the former Arborfield Garrison site. Shinfield Parish is also seeing significant development, with about 3,000 new homes being built in extensions to Shinfield Village, Three Mile Cross and Spencers Wood. The relief road is intended to minimise the impact of traffic growth on the villages of Arborfield and Arborfield Cross and the surrounding rural lanes.

The new 2.3km relief road will reduce congestion, boost employment and create opportunities for more sustainable travel, providing traffic relief in Arborfield and Arborfield Cross and the surrounding rural lanes...

It also boasts a green bridge for the bats and voles, though shared with bikes and walkers. The new road (officially called the Arborfield Cross Relief Road) has now been named as Observer Way, for the WW2 observation post nearby.
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2020, 10:40:54 pm »

From the weekly newsletter from Wiltshire Council.

Quote
Wiltshire Council has decided to extend the survey on the proposed A350 Melksham bypass, and the 18 different route options that are being considered.

The consultation was originally scheduled to end on 30 November, but in order to allow more people to have their say, it has now been extended to Sunday 17 January 2021.

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: ?We?ve had a good response to this initial  Melksham bypass consultation at this early stage for the project.

?However, given that we?re unable to hold face-to-face consultation events or display the plans in a public place, and we won?t be able to for the foreseeable future, we have decided to extend the online consultation until the middle of January to give as many people as possible the chance to have their say.

?At this stage, we want people?s views on the early progress of the scheme, so I?d urge anyone with an interest in the proposed Melksham bypass to complete the survey on our website.?

The council is exploring options to improve the A350, including the potential case for a new bypass to take the road around Melksham. There are 18 route options in total at this early stage, and all of them are indicative ? they do not show the exact route that any road may take.

If and when a preferred option is decided upon, the specifics of the route would be subject to full statutory consultation later in 2021.

It was only earlier this week that the Town Council arranged a meeting with an opportunity for some questions to be put to Wiltshire Council. Rather sadly, there was insufficient time for all questions to be taken, with some questioners called multiple times to the total exclusion of others, but I have written to the highway folks based on what they said, and can now make what I feel to be a good positive response to address their five objectives, which I broadly share. Just an alternative balance of solution in reaching them, and indeed to reach them at lower cost and not create new problems.
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2020, 11:34:25 pm »

IF and when, so is there an option to either do nothing, or invest the money in public transport, moving freight on to the rails?
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2020, 07:16:28 am »

IF and when, so is there an option to either do nothing, or invest the money in public transport, moving freight on to the rails?

Indeed ... there are other options in the consultation:
1. Workplace parking levy
2. Road user pricing
3. Heavy good vehicle restrictions
4. Rail service / infrastructure
5. Bus service / infrastructure
6. Improved walking and cycling routes

Quote
Emerging findings ? demand management, active modes and public transport (options 1 to 6)
? Demand management measures (Options 1, 2, and 3) ? these options cover road pricing and vehicle restrictions. Earlier stages of the scheme development and assessment indicated that these were unlikely to adequately address the key issues and scheme objectives. They also present challenges around acceptability.
? Public transport / walking and cycling measures (Options 4, 5, 6) - earlier stages of the scheme development and assessment indicated that these were unlikely to deliver the scale of impact required against the objectives as options in their own right.
However, the assessment identifies that there is potential for these to be considered alongside other (e.g. road-based) options as potential complementary measures, to support objectives around severance and to ?lock in? opportunities presented from reduced traffic levels. Further details can be found on pages 23 to 25.
It should be noted that the assessment relates directly to the specific scheme context and issues identified. For any options assessed less favourably in this context this does not imply that they do not have a role in the broader approach to transport delivery for Melksham and the A350 corridor.

There is limited control / "do nothing" data provided, but no evaluation page for this "Option 0", nor does it appear as a line in the tables to give us a comparison.  But there is very much an "if" there in that there are planning applications and much more that any scheme would need to go through, and there is no guarantee of such applications resulting is scheme acceptance, nor any guarantee that funding although identified and promised might not be pulled in coming years.   Subliminal projection of "do nothing" option as a sort of failure outcome, when in reality it's worth considering.   Classic "alternative close" by the powers that be, offering a choice only between options they would very much like, and options which they know are impractical so they can "win" against ... choose a weak opponent if you want to win.

One of the interesting comments made at the meeting was that there was nothing at this stage to stop extra options being put forward for the initial sifting - everything and anything to be considered including things that have been looked at against past metrics.   Indeed it was pointed out that option 10d was added between some very early discussions and the current consultation before the meeting went off to a long series of questions from one or two people about 10c v 10d which mopped up all the time.

I did ask by email about an extra option .. reply later in the week ....

Quote
Thank you for your suggestion of ..... The possibility of ... has been considered previously on a number of occasions, including in the 1980?s  ... Nevertheless we will give this concept some thought.

With the consultation extended, I have longer to learn, put forward an "option 11" if learning confirms it's potentially practical.  I am interested in the knock-on effects of various options on how the town changes / grows in the future - for example, a bypass looping around the town is likely to promote land for development, and the bigger the loop the more such land and the bigger the town grows.  I have asked about the effect on town development of each of the options - however, the reply is less than useful in telling me about such land release with each road option.  From the highways people:

Quote
The two exercises (Bypass scheme and Local Plan development) are separate and are coming forward independently.
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« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 08:24:34 am »

Surely "the do nothing option" is anathema to our elected representatives who feel they must always be seen to be doing something?
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