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Is George Ward traffic nightmare finally at an end?

CHRISTMAS has come early for users of Bath Road as, after months of travel chaos and long delays caused by temporary traffic lights, the   nightmare may have finally come to an end.

For several months, drivers have had to put up with travel misery caused by temporary traffic lights outside the new development being built on the former George Ward school site.

However, travel misery could finally be over as the lights have now been removed – shortly after the Melksham News asked Wiltshire Council about the necessity of the traffic lights.

Drivers have hit out at Persimmon Homes for the ‘ridiculous’ roadworks and have accused them of abusing their power as it was unclear why the traffic lights were needed at all, especially in the evening.

One driver told the Melksham News, “Last night (November 22nd) was the final straw. Traffic was backed up all the way to Atworth on the Bath Road. Cars were taking between 30-60 minutes to get through. There are precisely no roadworks on one carriageway that they have coned off for 100 yards, and I wonder if they are simply using it to unload deliveries.

“Melksham already suffers from terrible traffic issues on the A350 without this bunch of cowboys doing anything they fancy seemingly with total impunity.”

Leigh Cooper wrote on Melksham Without Parish Council’s Facebook page,  “When can we expect the ridiculous roadworks outside the former George Ward school to be completed? Complete gridlock yet again. If the Japanese can repair a sink hole in 48 hours why is this taking so long?

“Common sense would be to have the temporary lights and work carried out between 8.30am and 4.30pm. This would ensure that this main artery was not grid locked every rush hour. My 20 minute commute currently takes 45 due to this ridiculous situation.”

Kate Drew who lives and works in Melksham said, “I use the road twice a week to drop off and collect my daughter from nursery in Whitley. The wait time at the lights can vary. The week before last was particularly bad and I was waiting at least 20 minutes to get through the lights from Shaw. It isn’t always obvious why the lights are there; there isn’t always anyone working on or near the road, particularly in the evenings.

“The traffic has affected my commute as I never know how long I will be waiting at the lights so I need to leave extra time so I’m not late for work or late for the nursery pick up.”

A spokesperson from Wiltshire Council said, “The developer has permission to use temporary traffic lights to carry out remedial and resurfacing works, which should be completed shortly.

“We have spoken to them and are satisfied that the lights are timed to effectively manage passing traffic, particularly at peak times. The heavy rainfall earlier in the week also caused some traffic issues in this area.”