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Wiltshire Council admits new highways contract is not working

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WILTSHIRE Councillor Terry Chivers, Independent Member for Melksham Without North, has been told that traffic schemes across the county are being held up due to problems with the new highways contract with BBLP that came into being on 1st June this year.

Work should have started in March, to improve the signage on the Western Way Melksham, to help ease the traffic problems since the new ASDA opened.

Terry said, “The signs have been made, and are now in storage and have been since March. The work was put back to allow time for the new contractor’s to settle in. I’m now being told that the work cannot go ahead due to the fact that BBLP are unable to provide a traffic management scheme to allow the work to be done.

“I’m also told that we have the same problem across the county. I have today emailed councillor John Thompson, Cabinet member, asking for answers. It’s clear to me that this contract just isn’t working. First we had problems with the grass cutting now this. How much more bad news is being kept from members regarding the failure of this contract. It’s a total shambles and we must have answers.”

Mark Stansby, Wiltshire Council senior traffic manager said in an email to Cllr Chivers, “I can only comment on the signing and road marking proposal as traffic signals falls outside of my responsibility.

“As you may be aware our signing scheme was ready to go back in March and indeed the new signs were manufactured and are currently in store at our Bowerhill depot.  Unfortunately, Ringway were unable to undertake the installation before their contract came to an end and the scheme was duly handed over to Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP).

“For reasons that we are struggling to ascertain, BBLP have been unable to provide us with a temporary traffic management plan for these works and consequently we still have no start date for this project.

“This is extremely frustrating for everyone concerned and BBLP’s lack of progress on this and other schemes across the county is being discussed at the highest level.

“In the meantime we will continue to bear pressure on them at our service delivery meetings.”