An intense discussion has been taking place on the Internet over the ongoing problem of traffic congestion in Devizes.

It was sparked by Amanda Attwood, who set up the Devizes Issue on Facebook to provide a forum for matters that concern people in the town.

She said: “Why can’t they use ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) to work out what traffic is going through Devizes? It shouldn’t be too hard.”

This provoked numerous responses including the perennial plea for a by-pass for the town.

Noel Woolrych replied: “A bypass has been proven to have high cost, destruction of the countryside and negligable impact. There is an alternative route, it’s the M4, A4, A350 and A345.”

Jonathan Gale, a former Wiltshire Council officer who now runs his own business, said: “Things take time and there is no magic wand the council can wave over traffic congestion in Devizes.

"But the data and ongoing discussions do gradually make improvements, eg, moving the bus stop outside Morrison’s has removed one of the pinch points that was causing traffic to back up.”

Yan Ellis said the detour suggested by Mr Woolrych was too far. He said: “In the 30 years I’ve been driving in and around Devizes, rush hour tended to be between 8.30am and 9.30am and 4.30pm and 6pm whereas now it’s almost got to the stage where the two are meeting in the middle and I just do not accept that 80 per cent of that is local traffic.”