A new road linking the A350 with the B4069 to serve the Birds Marsh View housing development in Chippenham should open in about six weeks’ time, residents have been told.

The opening of the road has been delayed because ‘snagging’ work is needed to make it safe to use. Consequently, there has been an increase in traffic using Hill Corner Road.

Local MP Michelle Donelan said: “Many constituents to the north of Chippenham have contacted me about the unacceptable delay to the opening of the ‘Birds Marsh link road’.

“I wrote to Cllr Mark McClelland to establish what the delay was and received a detailed reply outlining what the council were doing to expedite the opening of the road.

“I also wrote to Persimmon Homes and Barratt Homes to ask them to urgently resolve the issues with opening the road which are having a significant knock-on effect locally, especially on Hill Corner Road.

“I am pleased to have a had a response from Persimmon with a definitive timeline of six weeks - this is still longer than it should have taken but it is good news that minds are now focused on getting this road open. I will continue to push those involved should the timeline not be adhered to.”

Councillor Dr McClelland, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, told the MP the opening had been delayed because snagging works were needed.

These include new signage on the approaches to, and at, the roundabout on the A350, and resurfacing where it ties in with the A350 after damage by HGVs.

“Part of the issue is that, with the road substantively complete from end-to-end, it appears to many residents that it is perfectly acceptable and satisfactory to open it to through traffic.

“However, there are in fact a lot of snagging issues with the acceptability of the completed developer works (which must meet the council standard for adoption) that are best addressed while the road is not open to traffic, whilst some are safety critical so must be addressed first.

“Prior to opening a full Stage 3 Road Safety Audit must also be completed, with any remedial actions from this agreed and, where necessary, works completed before the road is brought into full usage.”

Cllr McClelland said the developer had wanted to open the link road by Easter but failed to meet the deadline, which was then extended to the end of June. Because of the need for further snagging works, the date has now slipped to July/August, he said.