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A lack of consideration for cyclists in the plans for the enhancement of the A350 Farmers Roundabout in Melksham has been raised by a campaigner, who says that the redevelopment should benefit all road users, not just motor vehicles.
In June, Melksham News published a series of answers from Wiltshire Council to questions posed by the public about the plans for the busy roundabout. One question asked, “Are there any enhancements being made for cyclists and pedestrians as part of the scheme?”
The council responded, stating that the focus of the project is ‘very much aimed at improving the traffic (vehicular) capacity at Farmers Roundabout’ and that ‘surveys have shown that the number of pedestrians and cyclists passing through or seeking to cross the A350 at Farmers Roundabout is very low.’
In response, member of Cycling UK and former chair of the Cyclists’ Touring Club of Great Britain and Ireland, Philip Rigby, has criticised the council, calling their response ‘pathetic’. Philip said, “They (Wiltshire Council) state that the project is very much aimed at improving the traffic capacity, but this cannot, and must not mean putting vulnerable road users at risk.
“They go on to state their surveys show little use by pedestrians and cyclists crossing the roundabout. I would advise them the reason for this, because it is far too dangerous, and this situation must be addressed by the inclusion of the necessary facilities within any new layout.
“Speeding up traffic flow cannot be at the expense of road safety, all road users must be considered. Finally I will close with their reference that the project will be largely funded by the Department for Transport, therefore I feel it should benefit all road users. The government want more people walking and cycling, especially youngsters, not speeding motorists; will somebody inform Wiltshire Council?”