Wiltshire Council is exploring the options available to improve the A350 at Melksham including the potential for a new bypass around Melksham. Some of the options – 10d in particular – affect our Parish more than others.
3rd December 2021: News update
Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday 30 November agreed to proceed with proposals for the A350 Melksham bypass.
It also agreed to change the way forward for the scheme, after considering the responses from local councils, community groups and the public to the second consultation on the scheme, held between 23 June and 8 August.
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We’ve listened to the communities in and around Melksham about the proposed A350 bypass, and following this feedback, we will revisit the route and consult again on these changes. This further consultation would look at specific points of detail along the proposed route, such as public rights of way and water courses.
“We will also consider the outcome of National Highways’ current north-south connectivity study, which looks at routes between the M4 and the south coast and isn’t expected until summer 2022.
“The first consultation had several possible route options, and as such, responses came from a wide geographical area around the town. The second consultation focused on one main route, and so many of the responses came from residents in Bowerhill and other areas close to that emerging route. If the scheme is successful at the outline business case stage, then it is right to look again to refine and develop that route based on the feedback from residents and parish councils, and that’s what we agreed today at Cabinet.
“The A350 is a key local and regional route in Wiltshire, and a Melksham bypass would reduce congestion in the town and improve journey times.”
The council will now prepare a carbon management plan before submitting the outline business case to DfT, and would anticipate the results of National Highways’ current north-south connectivity study next year. If the scheme is then approved to move forward, it is anticipated that further consultation on the route would happen later in 2022.
To read the Cabinet papers, people should go to https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=141&MId=13773; or to find out more about the scheme, people should see www.wiltshire.gov.uk/highways-a350-melksham-bypass.
23rd June 2021: Next stage of Consultation launched
The next stage of non-statutory consultation on the A350 Melksham Bypass proposals began on Wednesday and ran until Sunday 8th August 2021. See here for the latest consultation documents.
You can listen to a recording of the launch presentation at Wednesdays Melksham Area Board meeting by clicking the relevant link on the agenda: Steve Wilson starts his presentation at 07:14 and lasts for about an hour including questions.
2nd June 2021: News update
On Tuesday 1st June, the Wiltshire Council Cabinet approved the recommendation of Option 10c, which means that the next stage of non-statutory consultation will be launched at the Melksham Area Board meeting on Wednesday 23rd June 7pm
There is a link to the recording of the Cabinet meeting here (click on the link under Media and listen from 1:23:45 for 35 minutes) and the report with recommendations provided to the Cabinet here.
26th May 2021: News update
Wiltshire Council Cabinet to decide on next steps for proposed A350 Melksham bypass
Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet will discuss the next steps for the proposed A350 Melksham bypass at it’s meeting next week at 10am on Tuesday 1st June.
The Cabinet paper details the proposed next stage of the project, which includes holding a second non-statutory consultation and engagement exercise on a shortlist of route options, before preparing an Outline Business Case to take to the Department for Transport.
The agenda for the Cabinet meeting next Tuesday is here – the A350 Melksham Bypass Consultation Report is item 8 and there are three documents: the report, and two appendices. The public are able to attend the meeting using the link in the agenda. Anyone wishing to speak must register as outlined.
If Cabinet agrees to the next stage, the second consultation exercise would begin at Melksham Area Board on 23 June at 7pm. The link for that meeting is here, although the agenda hasn’t been published yet
The report that has been prepared for the Cabinet meeting (here) proposes on page 3 that option 10d (the one that would have the most impact on Keevil Parish) is not included in the shortlist, and that further public consultation should be undertaken on a shortlist of options around 10c. Views of the public, town and parish councils, and other organisations will again be sought. Page 9 details a summary of responses to the original consultation, including those from the surrounding Parish Councils of Seend, Semington, Great Hinton, Melksham Without, and Steeple Ashton.
The full report on the consultation is here, with the response detail starting on page 17: A350 Melksham bypass consultation report [744.86KB]
Public consultation November 2020 – January 2021
Between November 2020 and January 2021, Wiltshire Council undertook an initial consultation exercise regarding the potential improvements. They received more than 1,000 questionnaire responses, and 175 additional written submissions.
Download the full consultation report here: A350 Melksham bypass consultation report [744.86KB]
Download the consultation report appendices here: A350 Melksham bypass consultation report appendices [907.95KB]
In addition to the information on Wiltshire Council’s page, here are some further links you may find helpful:
- Slide deck for Presentation to Melksham Town Council 23rd November 2020 – not all these slides are the same as those from the MAB below; in particular, slides 6 and 9 give useful additional context: Melksham TC Slides 23.11.20
- Slide deck of supporting information on each option (one option per slide) – helpful detail on each option not covered in the other presentations, useful alongside slide 9 in above MTC deck: Melksham_Bypass_Support detail_Options 7-10
- Audio-visual Zoom recording of the Melksham Town Council meeting 23rd November. Steve Wilson gives extra information during his presentation, and when answering questions afterwards, some of which relate to option 10d, the one most likely to affect Keevil.
- Presentation to Melksham Area Board 4th November 2020 (this was the launch of the consultation): Consultation_Launch_Presentation_Melksham_Area_Board_Nov_2020
- Minutes of Melksham Area Board meeting 4th November – see section 143 pages 3-12 which include a synopsis of the questions asked and answers provided at the meeting about the bypass proposals: Printed minutes 04112020 1900 Melksham Area Board
- Option 10d is the one most likely to affect the Parish of Keevil. This action group website provides further information about concerns for this option.
- Information on Keevil Parish Council’s website here, including this notice: Parish Council A350 bypass response to sheet
Note – any references to the consultation period ending 30th November 2020 were superseded when it was extended to 17th January 2021.
We will keep adding to this page as further information or links become available.