Improvements to A350 Chippenham

People should see improved journey times on the A350 north of Chippenham as Wiltshire Council starts £2.7m improvement work at the end of April.

Work to improve traffic flow is due to start on April 28, 2014, and although there will inevitably be disruption on what is a very busy route, the council is doing everything it can to minimise this by avoiding the use of traffic lights where possible.

During construction a 30mph limit will be in place to ensure the safety of the site staff, and will allow the road to be kept open to two-way traffic throughout. There will be a series of overnight closures to allow specific items of work to be carried out safely.

It will start with major work by utility companies to divert their services, followed by the main dualling work carried out by the council contractors. The work is due to be finished in early 2015.

John Thomson, cabinet member for highways, said: “This is a very important route, one which has typically been a bottleneck. Although there will be some disruption while the work is ongoing, the outcome will help improve journey times and ease the congestion around this area. Wiltshire is already very well connected in terms of transport links and this investment will bring economic benefits to the county as Wiltshire becomes an even more appealing place for businesses looking to relocate to.”

Currently restrictions to the capacity of the A350 at Chippenham create congestion on the approaches from the M4 Junction 17 and Chippenham Bypass West Cepen Way. This causes significant delays during peak hours for traffic accessing the town and the A350 corridor through the county.

The improvement to the A350 at Chippenham will see:

  • The dualling of the A350 in both directions on Malmesbury Road to the roundabout
  • Improvements to the Malmesbury Road Roundabout
  • The dualling of the A350 West Cepen Way in both directions between the Malmesbury Road and Badger Roundabouts
  • Adding a signal controlled crossing near Malmesbury roundabout
  • Small alterations to the Badger Roundabout

In early 2013 a successful funding application was submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) within the Local Pinch Point Fund (LPPF), a fund designed to support transport schemes which provide new or improved links to key economic sites, or which tackle congestion or address the condition of highway structures that are near to the point of becoming a barrier to access.

The budget for the project is £2.722m, and it will deliver the benefit of less congestion and greater journey time certainty and savings. The scheme will help achieve Gross Added Value to local economy of £5.9 million through the creation of additional jobs.