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Speed the answer

AS A local resident I have some thoughts on your article from August 2nd, “One way to stop dangerous traffic”. The answer is not about speeding up traffic.

If you want to decrease pollution, stop big lorries and decrease traffic, then close the bridge to people using Bradford on Avon as a short cut. We need to use a company like Capita with a couple of cameras on the bridge.

They run the London congestion charge using number plate recognition. Locals could register their cars for free (or restricted) use of bridge. Everyone else gets a £100 fine, lorries £500. I originally suggested this to Mr Millward Oliver and Councillor Sarah Gibson several years ago.

Traffic then uses the natural by-pass via Woolley and Staverton, (if necessary add another bridge there). You can make it all one way if you want, it will just exacerbate the situation. If you speed up the traffic it will simply make Bradford on Avon an even more attractive rat run.

This issue makes me very cross. Some years ago, I was told that most of the traffic in Bradford on Avon was local. This was patently untrue. I think they should simply close the bridge for a while and see what happens.

Tim Burnham, Bradford on Avon

Air quality fears

CLLR Mike Roberts’s dream of a one-way system for Bradford on Avon has reached your front page again.

However, the headline “One-way system gets the town’s vote” was a little misleading. It was not the town, but Councillors who have voted, and wisely, for modelling of possibilities and effects before a disruptive and costly trial is decided. Your editorial rightly referred to exploration of options.

The familiar public demand for one-way, a simplistic “solution” to a multi-dimensional problem, has been periodically addressed in the past, most recently by our MP, and previously for Kingston Mills redevelopment, Air Quality Action Plans, and the Historic Core Zone. Serious drawbacks have been revealed.

The local community group campaigning on traffic and transport issues analysed a proposed partial clockwise circulatory system, the least disruptive approach. Likely diversionary effects indicated an increase in total vehicle-miles, and therefore in exhaust emissions, of about 40% on the northern circuit. This included nearly tripled volume on the Mount Pleasant/New Road/Springfield segment, and about 70% rise in Woolley/Silver Street. Most significantly, in Market Street/Masons Lane, where Air Quality is already worst, 50% more uphill traffic could boost pollution levels. We should be very careful what we wish for.

Highways planners will again ask what Bradford can agree and hopes to achieve. Any proposed scheme would be divisive, with winners and losers. One-way working lengthens journeys, including for buses and emergency vehicles, and encourages higher speeds, threatening pedestrians and cyclists. More space for pedestrians can increase traffic congestion, handicapping deliveries, trade and tourism.

It is a tall order to separate traffic needed for the town’s wellbeing, lifestyles and prosperity from vehicles just passing through. There is much to debate and hard choices to be made

I notice more enthusiasm for a one-way system among residents south of the Avon, than from those on the north side who would have to live with it!

Godfrey Marks, Newtown, Bradford on Avon

Why commute?

It is interesting to note in your report on the one-way idea in Bradford on Avon that the A363 is described as a rat-run. This comes on the tail of the BANES proposal to ban some traffic on the A4. Whatever next?

The one way idea in Bradford may reduce congestion for a time but it will only attract more traffic if the route gets easier. To improve matters we have to ask why the traffic is going through Bradford on Avon. I suspect that a lot of the peak hour traffic is composed of drivers from the Trowbridge area going into Bath and Bristol for work.

It is regrettable that they cannot get suitable work in the West Wiltshire area. Why are the old Virgin offices on the White Horse Business Park being turned into flats, because the owners cannot get firms to come in to what is quite an attractive development? Why was the proposed industrial area on West Ashton Road in Trowbridge changed to residential? Is there something about the West Wiltshire area that is unattractive to employers?

Many of the 5000 plus extra population planned for the Trowbridge area will get jobs in Bath and Bristol and many will wish to travel by car. So, what route will they take?

These questions are some of the important matters that Wiltshire Planners must address in the new Local Plan.

David Feather, Broadley Park, North Bradley

Disabled not poor

YOUR Article on P6 of July 26th has a complaint by a blue badge holder about not getting free parking.

I believe this to be reverse discrimination in implying that all disabled persons are unable to work or earn enough to pay to park like the rest of us?

For years we have striven to remove the stigma of disability and this must extend to parking. I fully agree in the location of disabled bays being closer to shopping/entertainment locations but completely disagree in them being free.

Disabled badges do not imply you live on benefits, don’t work or have no money. It is an entitlement to easier access, not free access. Sorry, pay up like the rest of us.

Mark Griffiths, Hilperton

Park needs loos

IT IS regrettable that I lost the vote at the Town Council meeting to retain our only Public Toilets and whilst I must accept the democratic decision of the Council, I do feel that the consultation process was not carried out to a satisfactory standard.

I personally regret not writing my own report for Councillors providing the feedback I received from Towns like Devizes, Bradford on Avon and Warminster who continue to recognise the continued need and benefit to the Town of a Public Toilet provision.

What I consider completely unacceptable, is that on the site of the toilets (which is in the Town Park conservation area), we have now submitted plans (application number 19/06606/FUL) for retrospective planning permission for the demolishing of the public toilets and new plans for storage facilities, which include state of the art toilets for staff only.

The cost of this project is just under £500,000, which includes a £300,000 loan with added interest of £124,260.60 borrowed over 30 years secured directly on Trowbridge Council Tax payers. Trowbridge residents could ask the Wiltshire Councillor for Trowbridge Central to reconsider his view and request for the application to be considered by the Western Area Planning Committee for determination.

As I have previously highlighted, Trowbridge Town Council already has more borrowing debt than any other Town or Parish Council in England.

Please can the Government step in now and introduce legislation to remove the facility that permits our Councillors who are elected for only 4 years, to borrow millions of pounds over periods of up to 50 years.

These loans are secured directly on Trowbridge residents via their Council Tax, just like an attachment of earnings on this generation and the next.

Edward Kirk, Town & Wiltshire Councillor for Trowbridge Adcroft

Let kids take risks

WITH reference to the letter from David Rae, 2 8 19, I am sorry David’s son broke his arm but feel we have to encourage our youngsters to be adventurous.

I lost my front teeth at the Blue Pool in 1962. It didn’t stop me surfing or playing football or riding my beloved Vespa around Melksham and Bath.

Let’s be careful and accident aware but we need to do challenging and adventurous things while we can.

Stuart Thomsett, Saffron Close, Royal Wootton Bassett

What’s tax for?

I WOULD just like to thank our new Liberal Democrat Cllr Andrew Bryant who is now representing Drynham Ward for his positive ideas and input into the area.

As an example Wiltshire Drive is now weed and litter free thanks to his band of caring volunteers who worked so hard on 27th July.

The weeds and litter have been an eyesore for a long time and I do wonder WHY we pay taxes to Wiltshire Council to keep our roads and streets clean and tidy, only for the kindly residents to do the work for them.

I hope too that Andrew will be able to put a stop to the continual speeding that occurs in Wiltshire Drive, leading in and out of Ramsbury Walk that leads to Southview Road.

This is and has been a very dangerous problem that I have reported to Wiltshire Police on several occasions due to pedestrians trying to cross these roads safely. Especially for school children in the early morning and late afternoon when the traffic is at its worst.

Unfortunately this dire situation will only increase when more new houses are built at Elm Grove (off Wiltshire Drive and Drynham Lane) as obviously there will be even more traffic once these are inhabited! This is not to mention even more pollution that will be created.

I would also like to wish our new Liberal Democrat Cllr Denise Bates well in her future endeavours in her attempt to get our County town of Trowbridge back on its feet.

The centre has also been an eyesore for many years and most of us who live here feel ashamed and embarrassed.

Jennifer O’Neill, Ramsbury Walk, Trowbridge

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