Inquiry date: 2 July 2008
See notes part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4; part 5
Original document(PDF): Day_10_Peter_White.pdf
Mr Langton announced that Mr Helps had submitted a revised proof of evidence. The revisions from his original proof are marked in red. Information on noise and air quality should be available by the end of today.
Mr White read the summary of his proof of evidence.
Mr Langton highlighted the main points of Mr White's rebuttal proof to Mr Bowley's proof of evidence.
The greater part of your proof is concerned with levels of support for the bypass.
FP2.1.10, reference to examination in public. RSS C60 – proposed policy replacement. Refers to demand management measures in settlements where there is a need to reduce congestion. Priority should be given to congestion charging. This policy is clearly relevant to Westbury?
The case of WCC is that a bypass is intended to relieve congestion. RSS C60 learly releveant?
Conurbations referred to in respect to charging. No reference to any other settlement?
You made representation to examination panel?
Pg198. Set out strategic corridors. D pg199, BB2SC. Sec C, pgC62. Proposed policy Tran 7 A-H. Pg64 – policy that is relevent to BB2SC. Panel state that corridor management approach applied to A350, emphasis on reliability of journey time, improve quality of life, reduce accidents and noise. Supporters case that bypass meets objectives?
Panel recommend a review to be carried out of the relationship between A36, A350 and A46, in North of corridor. Estbury is in North of corridor?
Stronger traffic measures at Bath. Panel recommends far from pushing ahead with scheme, review should be carried out. Accept as sensible?
Should review take place?
-Any review will reinforce need for bypass
Were a review to be undertaken it would clarify situation and responses?
FP2.1.11. Refer to Earth Rights letter to Sec of State. Exagerration of opponent's levels of support. One of the reasons for calling-in, the Sec of State raises issues of national concern. Agree?
-More of a regional concern
National planning polices. View of SoS that this scheme may conflict with national planning policies.
Clearly then a matter of national concern?
Given that, surely it is only proper and legitimate for national environmental organisations to take an interest?
Reference to 2001 public opinion survey. Undertaken by WCC consultants. Various surveys in the past. As applies to all the surveys, given the popn of Westbury, turnout in percentage terms relatively low?
Common to all opinion surveys?
In that context, there is nothing different between 2001 survey and others?
FP2.2.5. Opinion survey effectively useless. Would the same be said of all the other surveys?
-Don't know exact percentages
-Depends on split of town.
Surveys distributed throughout town?
-Surveys photocopied and distributed in Bratton magazine
Must have been more than 300, as there were over 700 responses?
-Photocopied in Bratton
Public had to collect survey from Laverton?
Not sent out by consultants?
1998 survey posted?
Mr Kansarai's Appendix B. Section 8. Report to EDEC 1998. Appendix to that summary of responses to public consultation. Para 8. Leaflets delivered to properties.
1998 survey delived, 2001 survey had to be collected from Laverton.
1400 (15%) of surveys returned. Summary of responses to public consultation. Given this was circulated to households, whereas the 2001 survey wasn't, responses from 1998 survey would be more satisfactory in terms of participation?
1998 survey less useless than 2001 consultation?
-Matter of opinion
-My opinion that people against E route more inclined to return form
As far as 1998 concerned?
Why would that be the case?
-Lists which route offers satisfactory solution.
-Those living on E route of town more inclined towards W route
And vice versa?
-More residents in E than W
Choice offered to WSB of choice of E and W, divisive?
Have the people of WSB and villages ever been offered a non-road building option as a means of reducing perceived problems?
Presumably would it be right to suggest that if a non-road build option would have been less divisive?
-There is no point in doing nothing – can't put traffic calming in WSB.
Not simply matter of traffic calming. Reasonable presumption, that were a feasable non-build option, would not have been as divisive as E or W route choice?
-Don't think so
-Basically the layman does not understand the concept of a non-road build option
Takes a certain effort to explain. Familiar with WWSTS?
LTP1, draft proposals for WSB. Pg95. Series of measures that could be considered for improving life in WSB. Traffic calming, cycle networks, mini roundabouts. Real time bus information is only measure undertaken. Any other soft measures been implemented over the last ten years?
-Not aware of any
Aware that various town centre improvement measures proposed. A number of those have happened?
Not bypass dependent?
Is it your view that a 20mph traffic calming zone would be of benefit?
-Slower traffic produces worse emissions
FP2.5.1. Seen that support for bypass from 2005-2007 increased by 97%, objections dropped by 14%. From a very low response rate?
If only have small figure to start with, relatively small absolute change will produce greater percentage change?
WHA123. 18/01/07 article. E route is last chance. Do you think that statements such as that has had any influence on shift in public support?
No effect whatsoever?
-Very minimal if any
What is your evidence for that?
Suggestion that town centre improvements would fall through if bypass not proposed, had no effect on public?
-Cannot speak on behalf of people of WSB
-Cannot say for certain what effect statements would have had.
Mr White said that the AADT refered to in FP3 was an average taken over three years.
Mr Yellowley queried why the traffic flow figures for West Ashton were lower than in Mr Helps' evidence. Mr White said that he did not have the source of his figures available. He said that West Ashton experienced roughly the same levels of traffic as Westbury South.
Original document(PDF): Day_10_Gwyn_White.pdf
Mrs White read her proof of evidence.
Mrs White said that the alleged shift in public opinion was not influenced by Cllr de Rhe-Philipe, but by the amount of traffic affecting residents in Westbury.
Mrs White said that there had been no reduction in traffic as a result of soft measures.
Mrs White said that posters in windows are evidence of a shift in public opinion.
Most of your proof is concerned with what being a pedestrian is like. Do you know whether WTC have ever approached WCC to ask them to do something about widening pavements?
-I did a long email to the council highlighting pavements
-Road is too narrow to allow pavement widening
Council have prioritised vehicle movement over pedestrian movement?
-Something must be done about lorries before pedestrian improvements can be attempted.
Has anyone approached WCC to call for limits on HGVs at certain times at the day?
-HGVs travel through town throughout the day.
Issues to do with contribution the school run makes to congestion.
-Most of the people who use cars to take children to school do not use A350.
Point is that rush hour congestion is a national problem. Significant proportion attributable to school run. If car journeys drunng school run reduced, and HGV movements restricted in rush hour, situation for pedestrains improves?
-Assuming that people only go into town at rush hour
-Lorries use town at all times
HGV ban on Station Rd part of scheme. WCC does have power to limit HGV movements?
-How come council only closes road at night, cannot even close road for roadworks
Accept that there are things that the WCC can do other than a bypass?
-I would like to know what it is.
-Bypass birngs lorries onto road that is purpose built for them
Familiar with solutions to congestion in settlements where bypass not possible?
-Don't know what town you are talking about.
Unaware of traffic management meausres other than bypasses?
-Congestion charging or bus scheme, could work in city but not in rural town like WSB
-Most traffic in Westbury is on its way to somewhere else
If people bypass town centre, what impact will that have on commerce?
-Less traffic will encourage people to visit town centre
How many pedestrian crossings are there on Warminster Rd?
Would improve experience for pedestrians if more crossings included?
-Possibly one near Matravers School
What about pedestrian controlled traffic crossings?
-Would be helpful, but would not make it safer to walk along pavement
One of the issues for WSB residents is road safety?
20mph zone. Emissions increase?
-Sometimes traffic is lucky to get to that speed.
-Could be effective once lorries removed.
Express particular concern about large HGVs and the risk they pose to pedestrians. What instances of accidents between HGVs and peds have there been?
-Don't have accident statistics
Original document(PDF): Day_10_Sim.pdf
Mr Sim said that Westbury was affected by NO2 emissions caused by heavy traffic
Mr Sim said that Westbury matches all the criteria justifying a bypass.
Mr Sim said that said that there was no alternative.
Mr Sim was asked to read from para 2.1 to the end of his proof
FP2.6. Reasonable to assume premature deaths from pollution. WCC have not put that forward as a justification for the bypass.
Presume there is no evidence that can be relied on?
-Scientific facts that NO2 causes premature deaths, therefore reasonable to assume that would cause deaths in WSB
No data on deaths attributable to NO2 pollution
-No, but reasonable assumption
LTP2. Chapter 15. Pg236. Graph 'ATP 8W'. Monitoring by WCC. Between 2004 and 2005 air quality actually improved.
-There are more recent figures than these
-Appendix 2 of my proof, pg39
-Though there were some signs of improvement from 2003-04, there has been no improvement since then.
-WCC 'tell me' there is no evidence of further improvement over the past two years.
A conflict between County's data and District Council's data?
-Some of the problem is the way graphs are structured.
Mr Langton noted that the Ch15 graph from LTP2, was not a direct measure of air quality, but a proxy for AQ based on traffic levels. The graph in Mr Sim's appendices, is an actual measure of NO2 in the atmosphere.
Original document(PDF): Day_10_Underwood_Campbell.pdf
Julia Underwood and Peter Campbell
Ms Underwood said that the parish councils of Upton Scudamore, Dilton Marsh, Berkley and Beckington support an E route, along with the group 'Standerwick Safe Speed'.
Ms Underwood said that only 22% of WSB's electorate participated in the 1999 Town Poll, and was not representative of the popn. She said the villages to the Far West of Westbury were not able to vote.
Ms Underwood said that in the hamlet of Fairwood all 19 houses supported an E route.
Ms Underwood said that the 22% turnout demonstrated apathy rather than strong feelings.
Mr Campbell spoke about 'popular misconceptions'.
Mr Campbell said that 'we of the West' were 'miffed' about the use of the White Horse in the White Horse Alliance campaign.
Mr Campbell said that he had a view of the White Horse from his house to the West of Westbury, and should not be connected to the E route.
Mr Campbell said that the bypass would be 1.4km from White Horse at its nearest point and a number of other features already had a very substantial impact on the White Horse.
Mr Campbell referred to Jenny Raggett's quote: 'tantamount to treason' in his 'hype and bluster' section.
Mr Campbell referred to Mr Davis' assertion that the E side of Westbury is rural. Mr Campbell said the area would remain popular as a venue for rural recreation.
Mr Campbell referred to his rebuttal of Gavin Smith. The building of the proposed bypass would inevitably lead to housing developments between the bypass and the edge of Westbury. Mr Campbell attacked the use of the word 'inevitable'.
Mr Campbell moved on to his 'Tranquil Location' section. He said the White Horse was not tranquil, but a busy and noisy site.
Mr Campbell referred to Mr Davis' assertion that the W side of Westbury was urban. He said Mr Davis was correct that there were urban features adjacent to Westbury. However he said Mr Davis had omitted to mention the rural features of the area W of Westbury.
Ms Underwood criticised the perception that the W of Westbury was an 'industrial wasteland.' Ms Underwood said it was clear that environmental impact would be similar, which ever side the bypass was built on, but that there would be a heavier biodiversity impact if the bypass was built to the West.
Ms Underwood said only a small stretch of the area E of Westbury achieved rural tranquillity relative to the W.
Ms Underwood said the railway to the West of Westbury was unobtrusive, referring to Photo D in her rebuttal proof.
Ms Underwood said it should not be overlooked that all proposed W routes were longer than the E route.
Ms Underwood said that some of Jenny Raggett's diagrams showing the E route were out of alignment with the actual route of the bypass. She said that the bypass does not cause the separation of riding facilities from the landscape. She noted that the bypass does not cross the bridleway in Mrs Raggett's diagram and that the bypass goes through White Scar Hanging, when the proposed scheme does not go through White Scar Hanging.
Ms Underwood said that no one of the many options for a Western route fulfilled the criteria.
Ms Underwood said that there is no evidence that a W route would have been able to include Yarnbrook and West Ashton.
Ms Underwood said that UPRAWW is convinced that the E route is the only option for a Westbury bypass.
Ms Underwood said that there were considerable flood plain issues involving the River Biss and its tributaries associated with a W route.
Ms Underwood said that a W route would impact rural villages to a greater extent than an E route.
Map produced by Mrs Raggett, clearly supposed to be a schematic diagram, showing relative position of MoD land and the route of the bypass, to illustrate the comparitive narrowness of the corridor between the MoD land the route itself. Accept explanation?
-Accept explanation, but disagree with sentiment
-Illustrates how elements of those opposed to E route are producing incorrect information.
Support of four parish council, two of which in Somerset. Parishes in Somerset not directly consulted by WCC?
-Had some consultation, but not to the same degree, and Wiltshire not consulted to the same degree as WSB
CD5.3. Pg7. Which parish is Fairwood in?
Dilton support proposal for E route. Presumably the views of the residents of Fairwood taken on board by Dilton Parish Council?
No reference to Berkley or Beckington in Officer's Report. Point is that in terms of consultation there was no formal consultation with Berkley or Beckington?
-That is an issue for WCC, not us
Pg11. Number of parish council that were consulted, and objected. No mention of Berkley or Beckington?
Proof Section 2. Agree that impact, in terms of visual or noise or landscape, is somewhat more than a function of distance?
-Combination of a large number of factors
-Not just the function of one element
-A fact that the road does not come closer than 1.4km to WH
Tranquility. WHA Rule 6 statement. Para 1.2. We take view that scheme will cause damage to tranquility of protected landscape. Protected landscape a reference to SLA?
-SLA not a tranquil environment
However accept that Rule 6 refers to SLA?
Rule 6. This is the setting of the WH?
Do not agree that Wellhead Valley a tranquil area?
-Small area between Equestrian Centre and Newtown, and that in hollow it is relatively tranquil but not extremely tranquil
ES Part B V3. Appendix 3.2. Comparison of E and W route in environmental term. Feb 2007. One of the more recent comparisons. Landscape pattern: both slight adverse.
-Agree that is their conclusion
Tranquility: nothing to choose between two
Cultural landscape concerned: both moderate adverse.
-Various different W routes, very difficult to speak of a single route
Character: E route runs through 3km of SLA. One of the W routes runs through 300m of SLA. Impacts the same according to consultants.
UPRAWW: W has greater biodiversity due to greater degree of arable farming.
Your suggetion is that W has greater biodiversity
-Agreed, in addition to other reasons.
Biodiversity is not just a featue of land use?
Pesticides, insecticides, etc affect biodiversity?
Could have effect
No full assessment of biodiveristy impact compared to E route?
Very hard to compare likely impacts in terms of biodiversity?
-Agreed, would seem likely that biodiversity impact would be higher in W.
Flooding and water. Next page of ES. Flood risk: E route has high negative impact anticipated at Bitterne Brook crossings. Moderate adverse anticipated on FW route. Equivilance of assessment of impacts?
-High negative refers to limited area, not whole of alignment.
WHA not supporting any particular alternative route?
-That is what is stated in WHA statement of case
Yarnbrook an integral part of W scheme for many years?
-Part of both schemes for many years
Eventually dropped by WCC?
-Yarnbrook element dropped after initial selection of E route
Why was Yarnbrook dropped?
Original document(PDF): Day_10_Turner.pdf
Mr Turner read his proof of evidence, from para 2.1 onwards.
Mr Turner stated the benefits of the Warminster Bypass. He said that although traffic flows were approaching pre-bypass levels, 90% of traffic was from within the town, showing that the bypass has been effective in diverting through traffic.
Mr Turner read his Appendices WWEP/A/1 and WWEP/A/2, letters from HPH Ltd and Rygor Group Services Ltd in support of the scheme.
Para2.2. What were the purposes of the Warminster Bypass?
-Predominantly traffic relief
Any other stated purposes?
WHA109. WCC document showing annual average traffic data. Traffic counts for Warminster High St. 1991 – 12,000. 2001 – 10,600. Subsequently rose to 11,600.
Over a period of sixteen years, there has been no significant reduction over that period?
From 1998 onwards there has been an increase in traffic?
-Concern within town over traffic growth, however Mouchel Parkman showed 90% of cars were local.
-Through traffic removed by bypass.
-If current situation was exacerbated by lack of bypass, situation would be intolerable.
-Bypass has been of benefit.
Still heavy traffic in Warminster, creating various difficulties. The bypass has not been a panacea?
-It has, because it has removed HGV through traffic.
-Local people can tolerate local traffic.
In what way has the provision of the bypass encouraged modal shift towards public transport or cycling and walking?
-It has not
Aware that the case of WHA is that roads per se do not lead to regeneration,
-Agree with that
Also there is a question of whether West Wiltshire is in need of regeneration in national context.
-RSS has afforded increased status to towns such as Trowbridge – now recognised as sub-regionally significant centre.
Trowbridge has an elevated regional status. Emerging RSS has a key objective of reducing out-commuting.
-Agreed, also an objective of WWEP
P2.6. Developers have submitted land that could be allocated for developed.
-Detailed examination of those sites has not yet occurred
Have these sites been identified with the provision of this scheme as a precondition?
-To my certain knowledge, some of the sites have been put forward for development in the knowledge that the bypass will be built.
Do any of those sites lie between Westbury and the scheme?
P2.8. Difficulties of local businesses. WHA101. The Estate Today. Second bullet. WWTE has 9 acres of undeveloped land. Proposal to expand WWTE presently?
-Yes, but this is hardly surprising.
WWTE has lowest vacancy levels for 10 years. Not much indication from WWTE that they are suffering hardship from lack of bypass.
-Youngsters do not have employment opportunities at present, aim to provide employment for people with skills.
-Wiltshire has a low qualified workforce compared to qualification of residents. Aim to retain skills by enticing businesses
No link between that process and new road.
-New businesses fearful of establishing locating south of Melksham because of travel time
How much journey time will be saved by bypass?
-Perception that Westbury is a good business environment vital to investors.
If a perception is created that a bypass will make a dramatic difference to access, but the reality is that only 2 minutes will be saved, how will the business community respond?
-Vehicles will consume more fuel if stationary, and businesses will expend more wages
-Businesses seek more efficient way of moving vehicles around
Accept that the actual journey time saving would be two minutes?
P2.9. Tourism. No evidence of what proportion of Longleat / Centre Parks users travel through Westbury?
Stated that it is beyond doubt that a number of potential visitors deterred by journey times. What evidence of this?
-That has been said to me by manager of Longleat
-They have the evidence of people that are deterred
What difference will two minutes make?
-Scheme would be part of a cumulative process to reduce the time of travel between M4 and the South.
P2.10. WWEP and Chamber of Commerce supported Western route?
-Agreed, supported in principle
When did that change?
-Latest consultant report, that dismissed possibility of W route
Fact is that once a W route ruled out by WCC, WWEP had no choice but to support E route?
-When two W routes and one E route being considered, the Chamber of Commerce took the view that none of these routes fully met businesses' needs
-When it became apparent that W route could not meet needs, and E route provided link to business estate, Chamber gave support to E route
-Do not argue that E route is ideal, but meets objectives of WWEP
-Better to proceed with this route than have no route at all
In what way does E route meet objectives better than W route?
-Nobody could demonstrate W route that could be achieved
-Scheme needed that gave direct access to railway, but nobody put forward scheme that could accomplish this aim through W route.
Even were the scheme to be built, accept that there are still pinchpoints?
Yarnbrook/West Ashton not addressed?
-WWEP argues for further road improvements
Mr Langton asked if the rail freight interchange was still being pursued. Mr Turner said that companies had been interested in using freight interchange, however there were not a sufficient number of rail interchanges elsewhere in the country which goods could be transported to. Mr Turner said there were no active discussions within the business community on the interchange at the present time.