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New cycling and walking route will link Melksham and Hilperton

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WILTSHIRE Council is starting work on a new cycling and walking facility later this month that will enable people to walk or cycle between Hilperton and Melksham on a mostly traffic-free route. 

The council reports, “The route will begin at Devizes Road, Hilperton, where cyclists can head down this lightly trafficked, quiet road, before joining the existing shared use path from Devizes Road to the access to byway HILP21, by Trowbridge Rugby Club. This byway is being upgraded to provide extra space for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as improving access to and from the shared use path for cycles. 

“The route then follows the byways HILP21, HILP22 and SEMI9A to meet St George’s Road in Semington. All of the byways will be resurfaced using a surface dressing that is suitable for cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders. The drainage on the byways will also be improved, but to minimise the impact on local wildlife, the byways will not be lit. 

“From St George’s Road in Semington, the route will continue through High Street and Semington Road, where it will link with the Toucan crossing on the A350, which will be upgraded and access will be improved.” 

Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for transport, cllr Mark McClelland, said, “This new cycling and walking facility will make it easier and safer for people to travel between Hilperton and Melksham without using a car. 

“The new route also meets some of our key business plan priorities, helping to create better connected, healthier communities, and reducing carbon emissions. 

“Of course, we recognise that some cyclists will still choose to use the A350 to commute between Hilperton and Melksham, but for those that don’t wish to do so, this new scheme will provide a safer, quieter route – particularly for families. 

“We know that this route is popular with horse riders, and that’s why we’ve taken steps to ensure the byways are suitable for them as well as cyclists and pedestrians. 

“We’re looking forward to this new facility opening in the summer.” 

The work is due to start on Monday 28th March and will be split into four phases. The first phase will see work on Devizes Road and A361 Hilperton until 22nd April, with Devizes Road towards the A361 roundabout closed to traffic from 28th March to 9th April, and two-way signals in place on the A361 from 4th-22nd April. 

Phase two will see work on the byways from 26th April to 13th May, and the byways will be closed during this time. The third phase will see work on Semington Road from 13th May to 3rd June, with the road closed during this time. The final phase will see works on the A350 Western Way Toucan crossing from 6th June to 1st July, with lane closures and a temporary reduced speed limit on the A350, plus some evening road closures for carriageway resurfacing. 

To find out more about this and other active travel schemes, people should go to: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/ highways-new-active-travel-schemes 

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