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Improvements to the A350 through Melksham are expected to cause “major disruption” when work starts in the summer, taking around nine months to be completed.
The Farmers roundabout, near Asda, will see new traffic signals at both A350 arms and the A3102 Bradford Road arm of the roundabout. There will also be resurfacing and lighting column removals, with additional merge taper improvements at Semington roundabout.
At a town council meeting last month, Deputy Mayor of Melksham, cllr Jon Hubbard, said that the improvement works will cause “major disruption” to the area.
Regarding the measures that are being put in place to minimise disruption during construction, a Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “The extent of works required has been carefully determined to avoid an un-necessarily long construction programme. By carrying out extensive condition surveys and consulting with Wiltshire Council’s area works teams, the scope of works has been optimised so that there will be minimal online construction.
“We are developing options to identify the most effective means of managing traffic, and will seek to use evening and night works where possible, although this has to be weighed against disturbance to local residents. By carefully planning the sequence of construction works, we hope to utilise some of the new junction layout ahead of completion of the works, to provide more opportunities to keep traffic flowing.”
Explaining why the works are necessary, the Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “The introduction of traffic signals at Farmers roundabout, will improve the overall traffic flow and reduce queues and delays. Currently at peak periods the roundabout experiences high volumes of traffic. The volume of traffic and the speed in which they are circulating the roundabout does not allow for large enough gaps to enable traffic to easily access the roundabout. The introduction of traffic signals will allow for better control of the roundabout and increased capacity.
“It is recognised that the new signals are in close vicinity to existing signals. As part of the works the new signals will be linked to those at the nearby Asda and A365 junctions which will improve the overall traffic flow in the area.
“For the signal control system to work effectively, it has to take into account the operation of all the junctions, including the existing traffic signals at the Asda and A365 junction, which it will do in conjunction with a series of vehicle movement (loop) detectors set into all of the approach roads.
“A better flowing A350 will also bring added benefits to the local economy in Melksham.”