A Bradford on Avon traffic campaigner is urging Wiltshire Council to reintroduce a one-way system to solve the town’s ‘horrific’ congestion problems.

John Boyce has written to Michelle Donelan, the town’s prospective Conservative Party candidate in the General Election on July 4, to urge her to campaign for a one-way system.

Mr Boyce favours Option A, which consists of a one-way system up Market Street and down Silver Street, with two-way traffic in New Road and Springfield.

He told Michelle Donelan: “I see that in the run-up to this General Election you are actively campaigning for a one-way system, and this is to be applauded.

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This Is Wiltshire: Traffic congestion in the centre of Bradford on Avon is a regular occurrence. Image: Trevor Porter 67975-4Traffic congestion in the centre of Bradford on Avon is a regular occurrence. Image: Trevor Porter 67975-4 (Image: Trevor Porter)

“But please, let’s be careful not to let Wiltshire Council make the situation worse by implementing an ill-thought-out scheme such as option C in the consultation document.

“We had a perfectly functioning one-way system in place during lockdown, and the same a few years before that when work was carried out on the old monastery wall.

“Both times the town was a joy, easy for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. This is the only workable solution to the town's horrific congestion problems.

“Yes, there needs some speed restrictions on New Road, but this can be addressed. One way up Market Street, down Silver Street, two-way New Road. Simple is always best. (Option A).”

The £50,000 traffic modelling study by Wiltshire Council’s consultants AtkinsRealis recommended Option C – making Silver Street one-way combined with priority narrowing in Market Street.

Option A would create a one- way system in Market Street and Silver Street, while Option B would install road narrowing 'pinch points', two in Market Street and one in Silver Street.

This Is Wiltshire: Option A - Market Street and Silver Street one-wayOption A - Market Street and Silver Street one-way (Image: AtkinsRealis)


This Is Wiltshire: Option B - pinch point priority narrowingOption B - pinch point priority narrowing (Image: AtkinsRealis)


This Is Wiltshire: Option C - Silver Street one-way and Market Street priority narrowingOption C - Silver Street one-way and Market Street priority narrowing (Image: AtkinsRealis)

Bradford on Avon Town Council’s public feedback deadline for commenting on the options closed on Sunday, May 12. It is now waiting for the results to be analysed before sending them to Wiltshire Council.

Mr Boyce, 64, who lives off Winsley Road, claims there was no opportunity to comment on Options A or B in the follow-up public feedback form, which he says, smacks of a “fait accompli.”

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He says to implement Option C would be expensive, irreversible and frankly insane, adding: “I simply cannot see how you imagine further slowing and narrowing of the existing two-way Market Street could possibly have a beneficial effect."

He continued: “Traffic crawls at less than walking pace for most of the day, every day, vehicles belching toxic fumes as they sit waiting to get through the pinch points. And what happens when there is a malfunction in the bus gate?

“We will instantly revert to some of the scenes seen with the traffic lights on the bridge, with ambulances stuck in log-jam traffic whilst somebody is dying from lack of first aid.”

Wiltshire Council leader Cllr Richard Clewer added: “Bradford on Avon Town Council commissioned external consultants to carry out a traffic modelling study which looked at several options, including the one-way system that was implemented during the pandemic.

“However, traffic volumes were significantly lower then, and that option was discounted following a thorough modelling process.

“Bradford on Avon Town Council has consulted on the three options put forward from the modelling work and now that the consultation has closed, we are waiting to hear from the town council which of the options they would like to proceed with.

“This is a decision for Bradford on Avon Town Council and once we know which option the town council would like to take forward, we can then look at how it can be realised.”