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Thank you all so much

As we embark on 2018 I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us to save lives.

Indeed, our highly-skilled aircrew have saved countless lives over the last 27 years but this is only possible due to the generous donations we receive from the people of Wiltshire.

Equally as important are our volunteers who give us their time to help bring in these donations, either by attending an event where we are fundraising or by giving a talk to local groups to raise awareness of our vital service.

It might surprise your readers to learn that in 2017 our hard-working volunteers attended 338 community events and talks – more than double the number they covered in 2016. Their commitment and passion for Wiltshire Air Ambulance is inspiring to all of us.

As well as the £3.25m a year we need to raise to keep our helicopter and aircrew flying and saving lives, we have also been raising funds for our new airbase at Semington, near Melksham. We launched our Airbase Appeal to bring in the remaining £1.25 million needed for this exciting project last January and the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks to the amazing efforts of individuals, businesses, community groups and grant making trusts in raising funds we are now close to achieving our goal.

As we enter the final phase of construction of the new airbase, now only £225,000 is required to complete the building and fitting out before it becomes operational in the summer of 2018. With your help the new airbase will be a legacy for Wiltshire, enabling us to save lives for many years to come.

DAVID PHILPOT, Chief Executive, Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Making us miserable

Re: SA Jan 3 ‘Rodbourne Traffic Congestion’. Can anyone believe Coun Mary Martin? She offers nothing more than pathetic excuses, and pie in the sky. Future plans which will help nobody.

She tells us the bus gate cannot be opened because of ‘planning consent’. And in future years, a new Wichelstowe park and ride will ease the situation. Really? From someone whose portfolio covers highways, that’s all you’ve got?

The reality is, the misery of being a resident, a worker, a shopper, continues indefinitely.

Not only should the bus gate be scrapped at Rodbourne Road, but an exit for all vehicles should be implemented at Wootton Bassett Road.

It’s common sense, let the traffic have a choice, instead of having to all funnel out via the Westmead roundabout.

As for the Bruce Street Bridge fiasco, did anyone else say I told you so when it was changed from mini roundabouts to one?

Mini roundabouts split the traffic left and right, Just like the magic, it works. Why change it? I understand flood work was required, but why change the layout?

Oh, for a local council that wasn’t afraid of making decisions to help its people, instead of making their lives miserable.

ROBERT WEBB, Bideford Close, Park North