HIGHWAYS boss Philip Whitehead told a public meeting that if a £347,000 scheme for traffic lights on London Road, Devizes did not improve morning traffic flow he would return and people could throw things at him.

Coun Whitehead said that road experts had used the latest in computer software to prove the proposal to put lights at the junction of London Road and Windsor Drive would significantly improve morning rush hour traffic in all directions.

But he warned that because of problems at the nearby Horton industrial estate roundabout there would not be any improvements for motorists travelling from the Swindon direction into Devizes in the evening.

He said: "There will be a major improvement in the morning and if in three years time this is not the case I will come to another public meeting and you can throw things at me."

The public meeting held at the Baptist Church in Devizes last Wednesday evening drew Devizes town and Wiltshire councillors but fewer than 20 members of the public.

Some of those attending were worried that the new scheme would create longer tail backs on Windsor Drive but audience member Julian Alexander pointed out that many drivers use the road as a cut through and if traffic in London Road was improved they would no longer use it as a rat run.

This point was supported by Coun Whitehead and appeared to be proven by the computer graphics which showed that once the scheme was implemented morning rush hour traffic in Windsor Drive would be cleared every time the lights turned green.

The new layout will mean there would be two lanes from each direction coming up to the lights. The pedestrian crossing in Windsor Drive would be removed and incorporated into the new light phasing.

Coun Whitehead said work would be done during the school holidays in summer 2018. He also pledged that three other traffic hot spots at Shanes Castle, Hopton roundabout and Roses corner would also be improved in coming years and paid for out of 106 agreement money given by developers who get permission to build houses.

Among those who was persuaded by the arguments put forward at the meeting was John Goodman of London Road. He said he had been sceptical but had left feeling convinced. He said: "The computer model used in the meeting had been loaded with a huge amount of data, and showed how Swindon bound traffic from 8.30am would move out of town along London Rd at a much, much better rate.

"The idea is to give Windsor Drive traffic a much shorter time on a green light, so allowing the much larger London Road lot to go through in bigger chunks. This timing won't give traffic trying to jump the queue by using the rat run any advantage, so hopefully those motorists will give up that route and stay on London Road."