CHIPPENHAM MP Michelle Donelan is pushing for Bradford on Avon residents to get a say over the future of the town’s social distancing one-way scheme.

The temporary scheme was introduced in August last year for a trial period lasting 6-18 months to assist with Covid pandemic social distancing given the narrow pavements.

Now Miss Donelan is making the case for local residents to be thoroughly consulted on the future of the scheme and to be asked their opinion in a town poll.

The town’s MP met with Cllr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council Member for Transport to make the case for next steps.

She believes that Bradford on Avon Town Council should now work with Wiltshire Council to develop suggestions for long-term options.

Miss Donelan wants the councils to consult and seek local views in a town poll. She has also flagged the importance of all options being in keeping with the historic Georgian nature of the town and aesthetically fitting.

She said: “I know there are different opinions on a permanent one way system and that’s why I am pushing for the decision to be made by local residents.

“Traffic congestion and air pollination are two of the town’s biggest challenges and over the years I have worked with the community and councils to seek solutions.

“Data on traffic patterns, speeding and air pollution have been recorded during the initiative and should now be made public.

“We also need both councils to work on some long-term options and consult with local residents then put them to a town poll for the decision to be in the hands of local residents.

“It is imperative that all options are in keeping with the historic nature of the town and any potential permanent structures need designing in such a way.”

Cllr Mark McClelland said: "I was delighted to have a very productive meeting with Michelle Donelan MP to discuss the future of the temporary one-way system in Bradford on Avon.

“In my first month as the Cabinet Member for Transport, I have received a large amount of correspondence from people in the town.

“I look forward to consulting further with Michelle, local councillors and residents as we shape the future of the road network."

Cllr Sarah Gibson, Bradford on Avon's mayor and a Liberal Democrat ward member on Wiltshire Council, said: "We welcome Michelle's interest and have already been in discussion with officers and the cabinet member to arrange a consultation in the autumn on permanent traffic solutions.

"However a poll is a dangerous option given that the vote of someone whose life is improved by a five minute faster journey is not comparable with the constant stress experienced by those living on Mount Pleasant, New Road and Springfield."

Residents on New Road met last Saturday to discuss their concerns and the reluctance of the town's new councillors to revert to pre-Covid measures.

One of the New Road residents, Philip Carder, says the one-way system is making their lives a misery.

He said: "The imposed one way system has successfully blighted the lives of over 350 households on the route, however around 50 households have had their traffic reduced.

"As a resident of New Road I am now unable to sleep in my main bedroom due to noise."