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MELKSHAM Town Council has asked for reassurance from Wiltshire Council that campus construction traffic will not clash with school drop off and pick up times.
Construction traffic for the campus will now be using the Market Place entrance to the Melksham House site, via King Street and Spa Road, after plans for an access route off the A350 were deemed “not feasible” by Wiltshire Council.
Discussing a planning application to amend the campus’ planning conditions to reflect the new route for construction traffic, town councillors raised concerns that the covering letter did not offer “strong enough” assurance that traffic would avoid school drop off and pick up times for the affected schools of Melksham Oak and Aloeric.
A statement in the covering letter, which says, “drivers will be advised to avoid peak times during school drop off and pick up times wherever possible,” was described as “very weak” by cllr Adrienne Westbrook at last week’s economic development and planning meeting.
Cllr Jon Hubbard added, “The only exceptions to the ‘closed slot’ was going to be either during the school holidays, or when they have – and they will try to do a schedule to avoid this, but obviously can’t guarantee it – when they have the concrete lorries. Because when the concrete lorries are going in, they’re just a steady flow all day.
“I don’t see that reflected in the letter here – the response from the town council should be that we are sad to see that those assurances that were given, aren’t contained within this. But subject to those assurances being confirmed, the council has no objection.”
Concern was also raised at the meeting by cllr Sue Brown about lorries parking in the town to avoid the “peak times”, causing congestion on the roads.
Cllr Hubbard added, “We were also told that on the transport plan, drivers will be given clear indications that if they have had delays en route, parking up locations will be identified well away from the town for them to wait – so they don’t come and park in the Market Place at 8.30am in the morning.
“All these reassurances were given and I don’t see those reassurances in this (the application), and I think they need to go in there.”
At the meeting, councillors voted unanimously in favour to ask that assurances be given to the community that there will be no heavy lorry movements during school times – with the exception of concrete lorries – and that if the assurances are given, the town council has “no objections”.