Businesses in Westbury have welcomed news that the eastern bypass scheme has been rejected because they feared they would lose passing trade.

Dave Simpson, co-owner of model and hobby shop the Gas Cupboard in Warminster Road, Westbury, said: “To be honest, I think it’s a good thing the bypass hasn’t been accepted in business terms, but as a resident I would say the refusal is a bad thing.

“Businesses need the passing trade that the Warminster Road gives the town.

“I know that Warminster had a bypass which didn’t affect them too much, but I think Westbury would be a different kettle of fish.

“Having said that, because we are a specialist shop we get people coming from other towns for different models or parts, so we don’t rely heavily on passing trade, but other shops in the town do.”

Beadilicious and Here’s My Card, which has been in Haynes Road, Westbury, since November 2008, is one of such shops.

Co-owner Helen King said: “We’re pleased that the bypass was rejected because, as a new business, we really rely on passing trade. I think it would have been really tough for us had it been built.”

Nick Wilkins, manager of Timber and Allied Services in Haynes Road, believes the decision not to build a bypass won’t affect specialist businesses such as his, but still thinks the town needs a bypass.

He said: “A lot of our business comes from outside of the town or on the trading estate, so I don’t think the decision will affect us at all.

“From a personal point of view, I think it would have benefited the whole town. I remember when there was talk of building a prison in the town and this is the same. Both projects would have brought investment into the town.

“I just think the Government has run out of money and is using the environmental issues as a smoke screen.”

Steve Wordley Snr, who co-owns First Call Skip Hire on the West Wilts Trading Estate, which would have benefited from a link road to the bypass, added: “I don’t think the decision will have much effect on our business because we normally serve people from Westbury, Warminster and Trowbridge.

“They were thinking about putting a weight restriction on Station Road bridge if the bypass was accepted, which would have meant a longer route to Warminster, so I’m quite pleased about that as well.

“There’s no doubt Westbury needs a bypass but the eastern route is the wrong route. I’ve always thought the bypass should be built through Southwick which would link it to all the main roads.”

David Jenkins, president of Westbury Chamber of Commerce, believes the town must forget the bypass and move on.

“I think to a certain extent the bypass rejection won’t have a major effect,” he said.

“I think Westbury is a good market town and we need to put this behind us and get the vision of Westbury in place.

“We need to get the improvements made in the town centre to attract new businesses to the town and this can be achieved through the new area board meetings.”