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Deputy mayor blasts Market Place access confusion

DEPUTY mayor, cllr Jon Hubbard, has criticised Wiltshire Council for not installing ‘access only’ signage on the access road to the Market Place, creating frustration for disabled drivers and taxi drivers who use the space.

After the Market Place improvements were completed, the access road outside Refa Tandoori and Bailey Employment Services was designated a taxi rank and a space for disabled parking. All other traffic is meant to access the Melksham House site via the new road that cuts through the Market Place, via the roundabout.

Cllr Hubbard has said that Wiltshire Council were meant to install ‘no entry’ and ‘access only’ signs as part of the Market Place redevelopment, but having failed to do so, have created confusion for drivers and frustration for the users of the space.

A meeting was held between cllr Hubbard and Wiltshire Council representatives last week to discuss the matter. Speaking to Melksham News, cllr Hubbard said, “We were all told when the improvements were done and the new access road was cut through the middle of the Market Place, that the road the taxis and the disabled parking is on was going to be made ‘access only for taxis and disabled parking’.

“Wiltshire Council even painted on the road to indicate to traffic coming from Spa Road, ‘taxis and disabled parking only’, but they never finished the job or put up the signage to enforce that. So we were having that conversation about when that job is going to be completed.

“Because I can absolutely understand the people who live in CrownHouse and the taxi drivers and the people trying to use those disabled bays getting very frustrated that there are cars hurtling down what is quite a narrow carriageway, as it was not designed to be used that way.

“But I can also understand why people are using it as how are you to know if there is nothing telling you that you can’t?If you are approaching the Market Place fromKing Street there is absolutely no indication at all. Even coming off Spa Road, if there is standing traffic you can’t see what is painted on the road.

“So we need the ‘no entry’ and ‘access only’ signs at the entry points.

“What’s really irritating is that we’ve been through the pain of this conversation already. We did it all 12 months ago when it was all agreed. What angers me, with how Wiltshire Council is approaching this, is that they are leaving it so long before doing what they originally said they were going to do.

“We’re going to have to go through all that pain a second time round.And that’s not fair on residents and local businesses.It’s ridiculous!”

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “We are currently  looking at how this road can remain open to taxis, loading vehicles, and disabled badge holders only, and not used by other motorists.”

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