Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Wiltshire to revise 'road biased' funding bid

WILTSHIRE COUNTY Council is set to revise its bid for Government transport funding after an independent panel criticised its draft local transport plan as too biased towards road improvement.

Just three weeks before it is due to submit its LTP to the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions, an emergency meeting of the council's Environment and Transport Committee has been called to discuss revisions.

Councillor John Irving called the meeting after criticism from an independent panel - chaired by Aspen Consulting's Mike Cottell - that nearly half of the £100M LTP bid is for new roads with little provision for rail services or transport interchanges.

Critics are angry that road schemes such as the proposed 4km Semington-Melksham diversion and the 9km Westbury bypass were approved while a £12M package to improve west Wiltshire's rail service is left out.

Consultant Parkman recommended a £12M upgrade of services between Chippenham and Frome in its recent study of transport in the county. The scheme would see the authority buy and run two new trains to upgrade the current twice daily service through Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury and Warminster to an hourly service.

New stations, several bus/ train interchanges and seven mini-rail freight terminals would also be included to strengthen links to Bath and Southampton.

Local Transport 2000 campaigner Jenny Raggett said: 'We are very unhappy that the council has looked at Parkman's report and only bid for a very small portion of it.'

However, West Wiltshire County Council said it had included a bid for £2.5M worth of rail services over five years. A spokesman added: 'We have made it clear that the two road schemes are part of our £41M west Wiltshire sustainable transport strategy which also includes investment in rail and buses. It's complete rubbish to say we have ignored the rail report. Our critics are ignoring the fact that we will at least double spending on rail through revenue support.'

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.