Do not let Wiltshire Council build the A350 Bypass south of the Kennet and Avon canal

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What is wrong with the Council's proposal for the A350 Bypass?

Councillor Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: "a bypass for Melksham ... would create a more reliable, less congested transport network; ... reduce air pollutants and emissions from transport; and also improve safety for all road users.

WRONG!

MORE AIR POLLUTION
Building an additional carriageway, through greenfield land (as outlined in Option 10d and others), will not “reduce air pollutants and emissions”. It will encourage more traffic into the local area (particularly non-local, commercial traffic) thereby increasing air and water pollution. It may be the case that some residents experience air quality improvements in the short term, but overall air pollution will increase across the local area as a whole.

IMPACTS ON BIODIVERSITY
The Semington flood plain and the Kennet and Avon canal stretch are areas rich in wildlife and habitat to numerous plants and fauna, including protected species such as otters, bats, kingfishers, owls and voles.

INCREASED TRAFFIC
Traffic levels on bypassed roads rise faster than expected due to induced traffic, all of which means the hoped-for benefits of a new road can evaporate very quickly. By not forecasting traffic levels properly and not fully taking into account induced traffic, the benefits and costs of a new road will not be accurately calculated, which can lead to big mistakes being made with public money.

CHANGES TO HOW WE TRAVEL
This project should be re-assessed given that Covid will permanently change our work and leisure journeys, a large percentage of which have proved to be unnecessary. We also have national target of net zero emissions by 2050 which should mean less road use overall.

THE COUNCIL SHOULD EXTEND THE CONSULTATION PERIOD The information provided by Wiltshire Council regarding the A350 Melksham Bypass is misleading and needs to clarified prior to the non-statutory consultation window being closed at the end of November. This relates specifically to the information within the assessment matrix and supporting material as it relates to Option 10d. Wiltshire Council should extend the public consultation period to properly assess route 10d.



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