CHIPPENHAM MP Michelle Donelan has called for “urgent” action to stop HGVs and other vehicles using narrow country lanes to avoid the B3108 road closure between Bradford on Avon and Winsley.

The MP says the fears expressed by Winsley residents before the six-week work programme began on July 25 are being realised, and that drivers using narrow lanes to get round the closure “cannot be allowed to continue”.

In a letter to councillor Dr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, she said: “It is disappointing that now the closure is in place a lot of the problems that residents raised beforehand are now coming to fruition.

“We are now three days into the most significant element of the road closure from the roundabout to Downs View and there has been widespread traffic disruption around the lanes approaching and leaving the village as well as a downturn in trade for businesses.

“I have seen many videos and photos of the lanes completely jammed, this is not a safe or sustainable position.”

The MP says the “most pressing” of issues raised is access for emergency vehicles and has sought assurances they will be able to get into and out of the affected area.

Meanwhile, locals have suffered abuse from drivers while trying to stop them using the lanes at Ashley and Turleigh as a cut through from the A36.

One resident said: “I’m trying to turn people around, lorries and cars, more luck with lorries this morning. I’ve managed to turn six round and sent them back to the A36.

“I feel for the drivers of lorries but SatNav is sending them this way. As for the cars, they are coming from Bath to get to Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge.

“People in cars are so rude. The things I’ve been called this morning, and I’m only trying to help them.

“Where is the police and the Wiltshire Council, or even the parish council. This has to stop.”

Another local, Bruce Moss, one of the Winsley residents who objected strongly to the road closure, posted photographs of a HGV trying to squeeze down Ashley Lane.

Wiltshire Council says it is “listening to community concerns” over displaced traffic due to the temporary closure of the B3108.

It also says it is “closely monitoring” traffic volumes and vehicle weights between Bradford on Avon and Winsley and drivers’ adherence to the signed diversion.