Active Travel Scheme, B3108: FAQs

Winsley Active Travel Scheme – Frequently Asked Questions ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ›ด๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ
From Unitary Councillor Johnny Kidney (also available on his Facebook page)
 
As you will have no doubt noticed, there’s quite a bit of discussion flying around social media about the Winsley Active Travel scheme being delivered this summer. Some of it is accurate and helpful, some of it, sadly, less so.
To try to help keep things clear, I’ve compiled some responses to questions that frequently arise on this project based on the information I currently have. Hopefully this will be helpful as the community prepares to pull together to support each other through what will undoubtedly be a challenging period in the summer holidays when the B3108 closes between the roundabout east of Winsley and Downs View in Bradford-on-Avon, as work is carried out to deliver once-in-a-generation investment into active travel infrastructure for the community.
 
I will pin this to the top of my page so that it is visible to as many people as possible. I will also add information as I receive it, as of course arrangements to mitigate the impacts are ongoing.
 
๐™’๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™  ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™˜๐™š?
The project will see the removal of the existing narrow pavement on the north side of the B3108 between the Winsley roundabout and Downs View, Bradford-on-Avon. A new wider segregated path will be constructed as a shared space for active travel.
This will create a safe shared path, elevated from the neighbouring carriageway with a kerb, to enable more vulnerable road users such as young people who wish to walk or cycle from the village to St Laurence School, families with young kids on bikes or scooters, mobility scooter users, older people etc the opportunity of a safe route.
The path will extend from Ashley Lane in Winsley to the roundabout where a new crossing point will be established with an improved island on the northern arm and then on to Downs View.
The road itself will also be reconstructed with resurfacing, levelling of drains โ€“ many of which are currently sunken and have to be swerved around by drivers and cyclists, and the incorporation of cycle-friendly drain covers for those confident road cyclists who currently use the route and may find it more appropriate to continue to cycle in the road due to their speeds (as is entirely their right).
 
๐™’๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ?
This is taking place in the school summer holidays in the summer of 2022. It will, unfortunately, include the closure of a stretch of the B3108 between the roundabout on the eastern side of Winsley and Downs View in Bradford-on-Avon from 25th July until 2nd September.
 
๐™’๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™—๐™–๐™˜๐™ ๐™œ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ?
For a number of years now, parents in the village have been contacting me and Winsley Parish Council saying they would like to allow their children and teenagers to walk or cycle from the village to St Laurence School but are reluctant to do so as they felt the road was too fast and dangerous and the path too narrow. Indeed, the Winsley Parish Council set it as a priority to explore opportunities to improve walking and cycling along the route.
When the pandemic struck, the Government made funding available to establish active travel routes that facilitated social distancing. I felt that there was an opportunity to secure some of this funding for our community to trial an active travel route. This resulted in the active travel scheme that was established as a temporary, trial measure. Of course, as a temporary arrangement, its design was less than ideal. However, it proved popular with young people and other vulnerable road users (if perhaps less so with motorists due to the bollards which some found intimidating, aligned with the poor road surface condition). Alongside the scheme, I successfully lobbied Wiltshire Council in a reduction in the speed limit to 40mph (30 would have been preferable, but anything was better than the previous unacceptable speeds seen on the road!).
 
While the temporary scheme was in place, a TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) consultation was run by Wiltshire Highways, whereby members of the public could submit comments on the scheme. This was publicised extensively. Subsequently, a general survey on the Covid active travel schemes was run by Wiltshire Council. Of the schemes, Winsleyโ€™s proved one of the most popular, with two to one of those commenting on it supporting the implementation of a permanent scheme. This survey was publicised widely by Wiltshire Council, in the local press, BBC Wiltshire, on their social media platforms, by Winsley Parish Council in the Winsley Weaver and myself on here. As a result of both the TRO consultation and survey, Wiltshire Council took the decision to invest in a permanent active travel facility to link Winley with Bradford-on-Avon.
 
๐˜ฝ๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™„ ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™™๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง ๐™จ๐™š๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™˜๐™ฎ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™–๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™จ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ง๐™š๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ž๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™๐™š๐™™?
Well, that might be the case as of now, but that is entirely the point of the project. Many parents have contacted me and the Parish Council over the years saying they would like to allow their children to walk or cycle to St Laurence but are reluctant to do so as they felt the road was too fast and dangerous and the path too narrow. This project is not necessarily about catering for the confident road cyclists who do use the route, but the very many more vulnerable users who would like to but donโ€™t.
 
๐™„โ€™๐™ข ๐™– ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง-๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™›๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™š๐™ญ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š๐™™ ๐™ง๐™ค๐™–๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ฎ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฃโ€™๐™ฉ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™.
That may well be the case, and it is likely therefore that it isnโ€™t really for you. Itโ€™s probably more appropriate that you continue to use the road if you wish, particularly on the downhill run towards Bradford-on-Avon where youโ€™re likely to attain speeds not far off the newly reduced speed limit. For this reason, the road is being completely resurfaced and the drains are being rebuilt to make them flush with the carriageway and the covers replaced with cycle-friendly drain-covers. It is absolutely your right to continue to use the road and I have urged Wiltshire Council to start a communications campaign to remind motorists that cyclists have just as much right to use the road and that they are under no obligation to use active travel paths which in the case of fast, experienced road cyclists may not be appropriate.
 
๐™’๐™ค๐™ฃโ€™๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ง๐™ค๐™–๐™™ ๐™—๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ค ๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ง๐™ง๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™–๐™จ ๐™– ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™ช๐™ก๐™ฉ?
The road will remain between 5.5 and 5.9m wide. 5.5m is the minimum width for a new two-way carriageway with centre line as set out by the Department for Transport. Indeed, the road gets narrower as one continues into Bradford-on-Avon, and also the other way, between Limpley Stoke Railway Bridge and the A36. However, the road will be narrower and it is a change, which is why the lower speed limit is so important.
 
๐˜ฝ๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐˜ฝ3108 ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™œ๐™ค๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™—๐™š ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง 6 ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™š๐™ ๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ข๐™ข๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™—๐™ช๐™ž๐™ก๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™จ๐™˜๐™๐™š๐™ข๐™š. ๐™’๐™๐™ฎ ๐™™๐™ค๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ฃ?
Wiltshire Highways will construct the active travel path and resurface the B3108 during the school summer holidays. As a result they are closing the road from the 25th of July until 2nd September. Like many, I was horrified when it was confirmed to me that the road would have to be closed for six weeks in the school summer holidays to build the scheme. It genuinely resulted in sleepless nights with worry as to how on earth we could possibly cope with this.
My initial move was to go back to Highways at the highest level and demand that they rethink this and come up with an alternative plan that would enable them to keep the road at least partially open during the works. They did instigate a review on the back of this request but sadly the result was that there was no practical way of delivering this project for Winsley without the full closure of the road. This is why it is scheduled for the school summer holidays when traffic flows are significantly reduced.
 
With it becoming clear that there was no avoiding the road closure, I then made a number of requests to highways:
 
(1) that every effort and measure be taken to ensure that all through traffic is directed away from Winsley altogether for the duration of the works, with access for residents and businesses only. Alongside this, every effort must be taken to protect the network of lanes around the village, especially through Ashley and Turleigh with signage to discourage any diverted traffic other than for access and proactive monitoring of traffic movements through the lanes. Similarly, villages such as Westwood must be protected from the impacts of diverted traffic.
 
(2) that provision be maintained to ensure that vulnerable residents have access to D1 bus services to Bath and Bradford-on-Avon/Trowbridge.
 
(3) that Wiltshire Highways make early and proactive contact with local businesses and organisations to work collaboratively with them to ensure that the impact of the works on their operation is kept to a minimum.
These have all been taken on board and I have been assured by Highways that work is ongoing to ensure that these provisions are made. I will continue to keep pressure on Wiltshire Highways until all these outstanding matters are resolved and mitigations confirmed, and I will provide additional details of bus provision as soon as I have the necessary information.
 
๐™’๐™๐™ฎ ๐™™๐™ž๐™™๐™ฃโ€™๐™ฉ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ฅ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ง๐™ค๐™–๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ค๐™จ๐™ช๐™ง๐™š?
I absolutely did! Like many, I was horrified when it was confirmed to me that the road would have to be closed for six weeks in the school summer holidays to build the scheme. It genuinely resulted in sleepless nights with worry as to how on earth we could possibly cope with this. My initial move was to go back to Highways at the highest level and demand that they rethink this and come up with an alternative plan that would enable them to keep the road at least partially open during the works. They did instigate a review on the back of this request but sadly the result was that there was no practical way of delivering this project for Winsley without the full closure of the road. This is why it is scheduled for the school summer holidays when traffic flows are significantly reduced.
 
๐™„โ€™๐™ซ๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™™ ๐™ง๐™ช๐™ข๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ง๐™ค๐™–๐™™ ๐™›๐™ง๐™ค๐™ข ๐˜ฝ๐™ค๐˜ผ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™๐™ช๐™ง๐™ก๐™š๐™ž๐™œ๐™ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™—๐™š ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ญ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™๐™จ, ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ช๐™™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ค๐™™. ๐™„๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ช๐™š?
No. There is construction work taking place in Newtown to work on a retaining wall. As a result, at times the road may have a width restriction during the six month period advertised but it won’t be shut. However, concerns about this have been flagged to Wiltshire Council to aid planning of these construction activities.
 
๐™๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™šโ€™๐™จ ๐™– ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™œ๐™ค๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™—๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ค ๐™—๐™ช๐™จ ๐™จ๐™š๐™ง๐™ซ๐™ž๐™˜๐™š ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ญ ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™š๐™ ๐™จ. ๐™„๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ช๐™š?
I can fully understand peopleโ€™s objections to the road closure. It will be hugely inconvenient. However, I was a little disappointed in the wording of the petition, as I had been in email contact with the person who started it prior to its launch in which I made it clear that work was ongoing to ensure that there would be provision for bus users throughout the works.
 
The information we have so far is that the emerging plan is for a bus to run between Winsley and Bath, with a smaller mini-bus providing a shuttle service between Winsley and BoA. I’ve been promised a meeting over the coming weeks to discuss this as more details emerge and will keep the community posted.
 
๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™ก๐™จ๐™ค ๐™˜๐™ก๐™–๐™ž๐™ข๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™˜๐™๐™š๐™ข๐™š ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™?
As to the assertion that the project isnโ€™t wanted, the outcomes of both the TRO consultation and active travel survey would suggest that this is not the case.
 
๐™Ž๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™จ๐™ค๐™˜๐™ž๐™–๐™ก ๐™ข๐™š๐™™๐™ž๐™– ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™จ๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™—๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ค ๐™–๐™˜๐™˜๐™š๐™จ๐™จ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™š๐™ข๐™š๐™ง๐™œ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ฎ ๐™จ๐™š๐™ง๐™ซ๐™ž๐™˜๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™’๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ก๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™™๐™ช๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ค๐™จ๐™ช๐™ง๐™š. ๐™Ž๐™ช๐™ง๐™š๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃโ€™๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ช๐™š?
There will of course be access to Winsley for emergency services throughout the closure.
 
๐™„ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™›๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฆ๐™ช๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™–๐™ซ๐™š๐™ก ๐™จ๐™˜๐™๐™š๐™ข๐™š. ๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™™๐™ค ๐™„ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ ๐™’๐™ž๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™จ๐™๐™ž๐™ง๐™š ๐™ƒ๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ๐™จ?
I will refresh these FAQs with further information as it is forthcoming. Wiltshire Highways will also be launching a dedicated webpage with information on the Active Travel scheme and the planned works and I will continue to press for this to be launched as soon as possible. However, any questions about the scheme can be sent to the Integrated Transport team at Wiltshire Council at integrated.transport@wiltshire.gov.uk.
 
๐™Ž๐™ค ๐™™๐™š๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™š๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š, ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™  ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™Ÿ๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ ๐™จ๐™๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™™ ๐™œ๐™ค ๐™–๐™๐™š๐™–๐™™?
I do. The closure will be hugely inconvenient for us all, and I wish to the bottom of my heart that it didnโ€™t have to happen. I am dreading it both as a resident who will be directly affected by it, and as a local representative.
However, I do think the long term benefits outweigh the inconvenience. Whilst young people of secondary school age will undoubtedly benefit from this scheme, it will also have broader appeal to encourage people of all ages to get out and be active, with the ability to use this route to walk, run, cycle, scoot etc between Winsley and Bradford-on-Avon in comfort and safety.
 
Whilst the last few years have been truly awful for us all with the pandemic, undoubtedly it has been especially bad for for our young people. They have seen unprecedented disruption to their education, and the affect this will have on their futures is untold. I really hope and believe that we are strong and resilient enough as a community to come together and work our way through six weeks of disruption to provide once-in-a-generation investment in a safer route to school for our young people, as part of an active travel scheme that will benefit all vulnerable users, young and old.