The draft Chippenham Site Allocations, which have been out for consultation which closed on April 8th, include proposals for three significant new roads:
- A road linking the Rawlings Green 650 house development with Monkton Park, Cocklebury Road and Station Hill, running between Darcy Close and the Market Quarter. It would make use of the strip of land close beside the Market Quarter, currently owned by Wiltshire Council. It is sometimes referred to in the documents as the Cocklebury link road.
- A road out of the Rawlings Green development to the north west, across the railway line, connecting to Parsonage Way and the Sutton Benger road. It would connect in due course with the road due to be built from that road, north of Hill Corner Road, across to the Morrison’s roundabout on the A350.
- An Eastern ‘Link Road’ across from the A4 at Stanley Park, running beside the 850 house development across the River Avon. It would connect to Rawlings Green via a new bridge across the Avon, and also feeding into the ‘Cocklebury link road’ and Station Hill.
The Council has taken advice from consultants, Atkins, about the impact of traffic on those roads, and their report can be seen by clicking the two images to the right, PART 1 and PART 2. The report is in two parts totalling 6.64MB to download...
NB: You can also right-click and select 'save target as'... if you would rather download them before reading.
The problems as CAUSE 2015 sees them:
- The modelling ‘scenarios’ in the Atkins report (and especially in ‘Part 2’) depend on all kinds of assumption which are not made clear – for example, how many people in Monkton Park will want to drive out onto the eastern link road and how many will still want to drive to the station or into town? How many people in the proposed Rawlings Green development will drive to the station or into town along Cocklebury Road? What directions will residents in the proposed East site want to drive in?
- How will the Stanley Lane / London Road and Cocklebury / Esmead / Rawlings Green link road junctions cope with the extra traffic?
- How will either of these access routes cope with the traffic from the hundreds of houses that can be built in Rawlings Green and in the East before any eastern link road is built?
- Too little attention is given to the impact of the proposed roads on Cocklebury Road and Station Hill in Monkton Park.
- An eastern link road would be bound to increase rat-run traffic through the villages to the east of Chippenham, especially Stanley and Tytherton Lucas, and increase danger to walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders who frequently use these country lanes.
There is an alternative southern link road option, from the A4 into Chippenham (maybe from opposite the Stanley Park playing fields) to the A350 at Lackham. It would be shorter, and only involve one river crossing. The eastern link road would require both a river crossing AND a railway bridge. A southern road would surely be cheaper?
It is claimed that a southern link road would have a larger negative impact on traffic at the busy Bridge Centre junction, but it would clearly take MORE traffic away from that junction. Why? Otherwise it has been given almost no attention in the Council’s plans, nor in the Atkins traffic modelling. Again, why?
In any event, the Council published its site allocation plans before it received the final Atkins Part 2 traffic report, and seems, from the evidence about dates and times, to have made up its mind on the site allocations before getting even a draft traffic report!
The knowledge local people bring to discussions of traffic impacts is all too often more insightful than pages of traffic modelling. This seems to be the case here!