Council’s worries on Lyneham dismissed
2:00pm Thursday 3rd October 2013 in Latest News
NORTH Wiltshire’s MP has rebuked Chippenham Town Council’s concerns over traffic to the military training college planned for Lyneham.
The college will be home to about 5,300 students and staff when the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force move to the former RAF base in early 2016.
The town council said it was surprised to have not been consulted about the major plans to transform the West’s biggest air base.
It is worried about the strain on the town’s roads, as well as increased pressure on the motorway and train station at peak times, with a proposal to transport some of the staff and trainees to the railway station at 4pm on Fridays, to return on Sunday evening.
MP James Gray dismissed this as an “inconvenience” and argued councils should be all for the application.
Mr Gray said: “They’ve got to get into Lyneham, either down Wootton Bassett High Street or around Chippenham bypass. This is fantastic news for the local economy, it’s going to bring in £100 million a year. A bit more traffic on the Chippenham bypass is a small price to pay. We’ve got to pull together to make it happen. My question to the town council is, do they welcome the vast investment the government is making in Lyneham or do they not?”
Linda Packard, the chairman of the town council's planning committee, said although they do support the application, they are worried about damage to the roads.
Ten return trips of abnormal loads are expected to be made every one to two months from J17 of the M4 down the A350 and A4 through the Bridge roundabout in the centre, and then the A3102 to Lyneham.
Mrs Packard said: “The transportation of abnormal loads through Chippenham will not only result in disruption to traffic and closure of roads but also in additional damage to the roads.”
The council is urging Wiltshire Council to ensure conditions are put in place to ensure heavy equipment transport are moved during the night.
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