Fears over road chaos
5:30am Wednesday 12th February 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
CONCERNS have been raised about plans to close a main route into Royal Wootton Bassett.
Network Rail are in the process of electrifying the Great Western railway line and are approaching the section of track which goes past the town.
As a result, the Skew Bridge on the A3102 is set to be closed for six months starting in September, raising fears that key services will struggle to reach residents.
The road is the main link used by the fire service and ambulance crews travelling to Lyneham from Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon, while the road is also used by buses.
Criticism is mounting that residents are not being kept informed of the works and not enough is being done to cope with potential disruption.
Dr Brian Mathew, the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamen-tary Candidate for North Wiltshire, said: “I understand the work needs to be done and we don’t want to hold up the whole process but there are some important questions which need to be answered.
“Have provisions been made for the emergency services?
“Are there going to be changes to the bus routes?
“Are there going to be changes to waste collections?
“The alternative route is simply not suitable for the heavy lorries which use this road. On top of that, at the moment, parts of that route are flooded so if we have similar weather to this year then it will be impassable.”
Network Rail are in the process of electrifying the whole of the line in an attempt to make it greener and more efficient.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “To facilitate the investment of introducing new electric trains to Wiltshire, enabling works to modify some bridges around Royal Wootton Bassett will be essential.
“These works are vital to enable overhead wire lines to pass under these bridges safely.
“Plans for these works are currently being developed and being discussed with Wiltshire Council with an aim to agree viable options with minimal disruptions on the community.”
A Wiltshire Council spokesman confirmed talks with the rail company had taken place and plans were being discussed.
He said: “We are working with Network Rail to minimise disruption to local people and the travelling public.”
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