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Proposed A350 Melksham bypass: Cabinet agrees to second consultation

Wiltshire Council's Cabinet has agreed the next steps for the proposed A350 Melksham bypass.

Published 1 June 2021
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Wiltshire Council's Cabinet has today (Tuesday 1 June) agreed the next steps for the proposed A350 Melksham bypass.

The project was the subject of an initial consultation and engagement exercise, held from November 2020 to January 2021, on a long list of indicative route options. After considering the feedback from the 1,018 responses to the online survey and the 175 written and email responses during the consultation period, Cabinet has agreed that the project can move to the next stage, a second non-statutory consultation and engagement exercise on a shortlist of options.

The focus of the shortlist is Option 10c, the long route to the east of the town, and various alignments at the northern end of the proposed bypass. The forthcoming consultation will also look at improving cycling and walking facilities along the route, either in conjunction with the scheme or separately.

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Highways, said:

This Cabinet decision marks the next step towards a bypass for Melksham that, if approved by the Department for Transport (DfT), would create more reliable journeys and less congestion on the A350, improve safety and reduce emissions, and support economic growth in the area.

It's really important that people get involved in the second consultation, which we'll launch at Melksham Area Board on Wednesday 23 June, as it will help to shape the Outline Business Case that we'll present to DfT.

DfT will then review the Outline Business Case against its criteria and ensure the views of the local community have been properly considered, before deciding whether to proceed with the scheme.

The first consultation was held predominantly online due to COVID restrictions, but as long as the Government's roadmap out of lockdown continues to progress, we hope to hold both in-person and online events for this consultation, so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to have their say. We'll also put displays in Melksham Library so that people can come and find out more about the proposals.

We'll be releasing more details soon on how people can have their say on the proposals ahead of the consultation launch at Melksham Area Board.

To find out more about the proposed A350 Melksham bypass project, people should see the council's A350 Melksham bypass webpage.

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