The changes to the road layout at Fore Street and Wicker Hill in Trowbridge have faced some criticism. 

Improvements are being made to the area with help from the government’s £16.3 million Future High Street Fund.

The work will not be completed until late summer and is designed to improve access and safety across Trowbridge town centre for pedestrians and cyclists.

Some residents have criticised the changes, saying the ‘improvements’ have resulted in a greater restriction to the road width.

Some fear they could lead to an increase in traffic delays, congestion and emergency service vehicle accessibility.

The bottom of Wicker Hill where the road will be 11ft 6inches wide.Trevor Porter 77164-3The bottom of Wicker Hill where the road will be 11ft 6inches wide. (Image: Trevor Porter)

Commenting on social media, one man said: “How do they think it's an improvement when they've taken away a two-lane road and replaced it with a single lane.

“How is this going to improve traffic congestion on a road that was already struggling to cope?

Trowbridge Town Council leader Stewart Palmen said: “The new road layout will not increase or decrease traffic using that route, Wicker Hill only had the ability to carry one lane of traffic before the works began so there is no change there.

“It has not taken away a lane, except right at the end. It has just made it single lane all the way down.

“It should not have a negative effect on traffic flow, just slow it down and make the feel more like the pedestrian has priority as it should in a town centre.

“The width given to that lane has been reduced to enable safer paths and make the walking experience into town better.

“I am hoping that the road closure has shown people other routes around town and will have had the effect of reducing the traffic when it is reopened (but I am a dreamer).

“The key thing is that area will look an awful lot better and drivers will be driving more carefully instead of using it as a racetrack out of town.”

“My push (and that of the Chamber of Commerce) was for Hill Street to be made two-way and Wicker Hill pedestrianised.”

The bottom of Wicker Hill where the road turns into Hill Street. Trevor Porter 77164-7The bottom of Wicker Hill where the road turns into Hill Street. (Image: Trevor Porter)

Cllr Nick Holder, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “Whilst the carriageway width overall is reduced, due to the provision of wider footpaths and relocating on-street parking into dedicated laybys, Wicker Hill has always had one lane for vehicular traffic with on-street parking fully occupying the kerbside space.

“The space in which the laybys and wider footpaths have been created is space that has historically been used for parking. As such, the changes will not impact the flow of vehicles on Wicker Hill.

“Overtaking opportunities for emergency vehicles through Wicker Hill in its previous format were limited due to the on-street parking.

"Vehicles would not be able to pass those in the carriageway previously without using the pedestrian area outside Parade House, which will still form an overrun area due to the access to private parking.

The bottom of Wicker Hill where the road turns into Hill Street. Image: Trevor Porter 77164-8The bottom of Wicker Hill where the road turns into Hill Street. Image (Image: Trevor Porter)

“The changes to the right turn lane at the bottom of Wicker Hill still allows waiting space for vehicles wanting to make that manoeuvre and as such any delays to traffic will be minimal.

“There are alternative routes away from Wicker Hill that through traffic may use and this key link into the town centre is an important space for pedestrians visiting the shops and businesses and so these needs must also be balanced alongside use by vehicular traffic. Movement of traffic is not the sole function of this route.

“We have not had any concerns raised with us by the emergency services, who were consulted as a statutory consultee as part of the traffic regulation order process that has taken place as part of this project. ”