Salisbury City Council Respond to Wiltshire Council’s Proposed Junction Improvements

Salisbury City Council’s joint leadership group made up of; Victoria Charleston (Lib Dems), Annie Riddle (Independent), Paul Cunningham (Conservative) and Ian Tomes (Labour), met to consider Wiltshire Council’s £15m proposed ‘improvements’ to problem junctions in Salisbury. Following that meeting, the City Council has released the following statement:

“Salisbury City Council welcomes Wiltshire Council’s commitment to easing the long-standing congestion problems at key junctions in the city and recognises the difficulties involved in devising a scheme, and the effort that has gone into it.

“We are uneasy about the level of benefit that can be delivered by this scheme without progress on the broader challenges of a) easing congestion on the A36 and b) assessing the broader picture with regard to combined pedestrian/cycle access; but we wish to engage as constructively as possible in delivering the best possible plan.

There are five points on which the City Council would appreciate further engagement as the proposal’s submission to government is prepared, based on local people’s responses to consultation.

1) The proposal for a signalised pedestrian/cyclist crossing across the dual carriageway at Churchill Way South, adjacent to the Exeter St roundabout. This is likely to slow down traffic flow – contrary to the scheme’s declared intention to speed it up – and may pose an added risk of accidents. We would like this element of the scheme removed.

2) Option 2, for an extra spur at the junction of St Nicholas Rd with the Exeter St roundabout, following the Cathedral Close wall. This removes three mature trees and brings pollution and traffic noise closer to historic residential properties, and may inadvertently make St Nicholas Road a more attractive alternative for traffic. In the absence of compelling evidence that Option 2 will contribute substantially to the easing of congestion at the main junctions we would like this Option removed.

3) The plan to create a four-metre wide segregated path for cyclists and pedestrians alongside New Bridge Road. We understand that Wiltshire might be prepared to consider keeping the current pavement width and surfacing an existing informal path across city council-owned grassed land instead, to enable segregation. We would prefer to explore this option.

4) The proposal to widen pavements in Harnham en route to the primary school to such an extent that it will be necessary to remove established roadside trees and verges, changing the suburban character of the area. We feel that the benefits of this widening are likely to be minimal compared to the impact on the local environment and street scene, so we would be disappointed if the scheme goes ahead without a rethink regarding this specific piece of widening whilst recognising the need for improved cycle and pedestrian access.

5) We would welcome a commitment from Wiltshire Council to an ongoing engagement beyond the initial submission to ensure that SCC councillors are able both to keep their residents fully informed and to make contributions based on local knowledge to the final specifics of the scheme.”

For information about the scheme and to take part in the online public consultation, go to:
https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/highways/salisbury-junctions

 

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