The first of Wiltshire Council’s projects to make it easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists to access shops, businesses and places of work has been completed in Chippenham.
The scheme, along part of the A420 in Chippenham, has created a segregated cycleway to help link Bumpers Farm to the town centre, giving cyclists easy access to the centre of the town and to employment and shopping. It involves the removal of some on-street parking on the north side of the road, but parking is still available on the south side of the A420.
It is the first scheme to be complete in Wiltshire so far, with three others in progress one linking Winsley and Bradford on Avon on the B3108; Salisbury cycleways to link Harnham to the city centre, creating cycleways on Brown Street and Exeter Street; and a segregated cycleway on the A361 Hilperton Road in Trowbridge. The council has been unable to proceed with the cycling route proposed at Hook Street, Lydiard Tregoze, as its partners on the scheme, Swindon Borough Council, withdrew.
Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “It’s great to see our first road reallocation scheme in Chippenham, ready for cyclists to use.
“Three other schemes, at Salisbury, Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge are all proceeding as planned, and they should be all completed in the next month or so.
“Unfortunately, we have had to withdraw from the proposed cycle route linking Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon along Hook Street, Lydiard Tregoze, as our partners at Swindon Borough Council were not in a position to proceed with the scheme. The route was proposed as a safe alternative to the busy A3102, Junction 16 of the M4 and the Blagrove roundabout.
“We will be looking to use the funds allocated to the Hook Street scheme to realise another cycling and walking project in the county, and we’ll update with more information on this soon.
“We recognise that some of these projects will see some on-street parking being removed, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused, but the Department for Transport advice recognises this and does not see it as reason not to prioritise walking and cycling routes to aid social distancing.
“These are pop-up schemes that will be in place for a minimum of six months, and we will be closely monitoring their usage throughout this period.
“We are currently putting together bids that total £908,000 for the next round of funding from the Department for Transport. If we’re successful, this funding will see several other cycling and walking schemes implemented throughout Wiltshire.”