Wiltshire Council to minimise delays on A342 in Rowde as preparation works start for new school build
Plans to create an additional 350 school places for SEND pupils at Silverwood School in Rowde are moving forward with key developments this month.
Enabling works for the main build have started on site and from next Monday 14 March temporary traffic signals will be put in place on the A342. These will only be used when vehicles exit the school development site - for the rest of the time, they will be permanently on green or turned off altogether, so that traffic can flow freely. They will be in place for the school build until July 2023.
To help keep children safe, construction vehicles must be kept separate from school traffic, with the build teams accessing the school site via the Lodge Entrance. However, due to limited visibility and the 50mph limit on the A342, there is a risk when traffic is exiting the site - and this is why the lights are being installed.
The lights will be manually operated when construction vehicles need to move to allow them to safely exit the site and join the A342.
Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for SEND said: "We are at an important stage in our plans for creating more SEND places in Wiltshire. Our school communities have helped determine this build and while it may seem like a long time ago since we held workshops and discussed what was needed, we will soon see new classrooms and facilities taking shape.
"An important part of preparation is traffic management. We apologise to anyone who is inconvenienced by these temporary traffic signals, but we have done everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum.
"The lights will only be used when construction vehicles are leaving the site, so for most of the time they will be on green or turned off, allowing traffic to flow freely on the A342. We've also installed a no left turn sign for vehicles leaving the site to minimise any additional traffic through Rowde. Once construction is completed each day, the traffic lights will be switched off and turned away from the traffic, as will all signs relating to the traffic management.".
Meanwhile on the site itself works to prepare for the main build are continuing with a haul road being created and temporary car park to prepare for the works ahead. Work will then begin to create the additional 350 places for SEND pupils aged from early years to post 16. There will be a community of small teaching clusters that will provide a range of specialist teaching spaces, therapeutic support, and quiet dining. Also planned is a hydrotherapy pool, a new all-weather sport pitch, new playing fields, landscaping, and ecological enhancements."
Silverwood School is a campus across three sites including Trowbridge and Chippenham and all sites have been involved in shaping the plans.
Contractors Willmott Dixon will oversee the work on the new school build, with the new facilities at the Rowde campus being completed by September 2023. The involvement of children from all three sites and the wider school community was included in the contract to ensure pupils' views are a key part of the project.