Work to make trees safe will close A4 at Derry Hill for 11 days
Road to close for urgent works to remove around 400 ash trees that are dying of ash dieback disease
The A4 at Derry Hill, near Calne, will be closed for 11 days (including the weekend) from Thursday 22 October as the Bowood Estate and Wiltshire Council carry out urgent works to remove around 400 ash trees that are dying of ash dieback disease, as well as other trees that are causing a material risk to the highway.
Ash dieback is a fungus that, in time, kills ash trees, and leads to large, dead branches throughout the crown of the tree, which can fall at any time, with a real risk of causing injury or death to people, particularly in high winds.
The work at Derry Hill, between the junction of the A342 and the village of Studley, is being undertaken by Bowood Estate, with Wiltshire Council supporting through traffic management. Anyone wishing to access the villages of Derry Hill, Studley or Bowood will still to be able to do so throughout the works.
Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused by these works, but they are essential to keep the road safe in the long term, as the branches from these diseased trees could fall on to the highway at any time.
"While this work will unavoidably impact on the roadside scenery on this part of the A4, we're pleased that Bowood will be planting another native tree away from the highway to replace each ash tree removed.
"As the diseased trees need to be disposed of carefully, they are being chipped and sent to be used as biomass fuel for energy generation.
"We look forward to the road reopening early next month, without the potential for these diseased trees to cause an accident."
As three separate sets of roadworks are taking place around Calne at the same time, the Traffic Management Plan that applies to Hills' sites at Lower Compton and Sands Farm will be temporarily suspended. During this time vehicles, associated with Hills' business activities will have to follow the diversion routes and travel through the centre of Calne on the A4. The Traffic Management Plan will come back into force as soon as the roadworks are completed and diversions have been removed.