News Archive 2003 - 2005

View News Archive 1997 - 2002

Jan 2003 - 700 people demonstrate against Eastern Westbury bypass. Nearly 700 local people marched against the Eastern Bypass. Both local TV channels covered the event. Wiltshire County Council ignored the demonstration completely.

June 2003 - West Wilts Local Plan Inspector recommends against Eastern Bypass. This is on the bais of landscape considerations, water, lack of proper assessment fo Western alternatives, unpopularity and incomplete Bristol Bath to South Coast Study.

July 2003 - Wiltshire County Councill ignore Local Plan Inspector. The County ignore the Inspector's recommendation recommendation and put in a bid for money to finance the scheme only a couple of weeks after the Inspector had recommended against it.

September 2003 - County pressure District to disregard Local Plan inspector's recommendation. The county exerted pressure on West Wilts District to put the Eastern Westbury Bypass in the Local Plan against his recommendation, on the basis that a bid for cash was now in so they cannot exclude the road from a policy document.

The District grudgingly put the road in the plan, but fortunately with the caveat that if the bid for funding failed, then the bypass was out of the plan.

July 2004- Bristol, Bath to South Coast Study reports The Study puts forward that long distance HGVs should not go along the A350 but use the existing trunk road and motorway system, in conjunction with new signs on the motorways and at the ports and road charging. The study does say that a bypass for Westbury would benefit the town centre, but notes that public opinion is for a western bypass that links in with industry and the proposed freight terminal. It is noted that the study was not looking a route for the bypass, not examining closely environmental or other local considerations.

December 2004 - Westbury Eastern Bypass out of Local PlanThe Government refused to fund the Westbury Bypass but deferred the road to the region. The road was taken out of the West Wilts Local Plan, as the caveat was now triggered.

January 2005- opposition from town council removed. Westbury Town Council has always favoured a western route to the bypass. This is inconvenient for those pushing for the road. So, Westbury Town Councillors who live in the East or South of town are informed that they no longer discuss the Westbury Bypass, let alone vote on the subject. Councillors who live in west or north however, are allowed to freely discuss and vote on the issue. The result is that for the first time, the town council decides that an Eastern bypass is desirable.

May 2005 - planning application put-in by County Council just before general election.Three weeks before the general election Wiltshire County Council put in a planning application for the bypass giving the legal minimum of 21 days consultation, despite the very large and complex Environmental Statement. The county hoped that just before an election, that councillors will be busy with other things little attention to the planning application. The county failed to alert the Wildlife Trust of the application but luckily Wiltshire Wildlife Trust were alerted to the planning documents by one of their members.

November 2005 - Westbury is shown to be a low regional priority and does not initially get funds. The South West Regional Assembly have a stakeholder meeting regarding financing of transport infrastructure. The ensuing score sheet for schemes gives the Westbury Bypass only 4 points, meaning that it will not be funded. The list of schemes to be funded is made available on-line. GOSW (Government Office of the South West) agree that the Environmental score for Westbury should have been "poor".

December 2005 - hijacking of the regional funding process to move money to rural bypasses including Westbury Wiltshire County Council, Dorset and Devon team up to infiltrate the process for allocating transport money to regional projects, with the aim of getting finance for three contentious bypasses: Westbury, Kingskerswell and Weymouth. Past large transport project in the South west had favoured Wiltshire in particular, with three "major scheme bids" being funded.

View News Archive 2006 - 2007