COUNCILLORS are at loggerheads over whether or not the traffic problems plaguing Yarnbrook and West Ashton will be solved by Wiltshire Council receiving £8.5m to build a relief road.

The authority secured the funding from the government to build the Yarnbrook West Ashton Relief Road, a 2.5km carriageway over fields between the A363 at Yarnbrook and Castle Lodge on the A350 past West Ashton.

This will provide the infrastructure to support the building of 2,600 houses, two primary schools and a secondary school, among other things, that will be built on land between West Ashton, North Bradley and Trowbridge.

However, councillors were split on whether or not this would solve the traffic issues when it is built in 2020.

Trowbridge Cllr Graham Payne said: “I do not think this goes far enough. It will do very little to address the traffic issues in the Yarnbrook area that and it will do nothing to create the bypass that is required from Trowbridge to Westbury.

“This was announced two years ago so they are recycling old news too. This is only a partial solution. Back in the 1970s, Somerset agreed to build a bypass from Frome to Beckington but Wiltshire didn’t do its bit and connect it up.”

But Southwick councillor Horace Prickett disagreed about the importance of the plan, first submitted by Ashton Park Trowbridge and Persimmon Homes in 2015.

“This is a fundamental part of delivering the Wiltshire Core Strategy, so this is badly needed,” said Wiltshire Council’s portfolio holder for transport.

“Yarnbrook crossroads is gridlocked four times a day and it is a major junction for the A361, the A350 and the A363. This will help to greatly speed up the flow of that congestion.

“This is a really good step. This has been a long time coming. Persimmon took consideration of the Bechstein’s bats that are there and they will be preserved, so the correct procedure has been followed.”

Cllr Prickett was hopeful that there will also be a community store, a bus service and a doctor’s surgery there.

North Bradley Parish Council chairman, Roger Evans, said: “I am delighted that this is going ahead. Whilst this development lingered on, it put pressure on other places to find extra houses to build, potentially ripping up green spaces.”

West Ashton Cllr Richard Covington added: “On land west of Biss Farm, there is a triangle of land that was supposed to be employment land but it has all gone quiet on that front.”