TRAFFIC issues around Amesbury and Shrewton have increased since the Larkhill Packway was closed to all non-military vehicles.

The road has been closed in both directions between the Packway Garage and the Stonehenge Inn roundabout while a new roundabout is built as part of the Ministry of Defence's army basing programme.

The works, costing in excess of £300 million, will see 444 new homes, a roundabout and a school built at Larkhill to accommodate troops returning from Germany.

At an extraordinary traffic forum meeting in Shrewton on Thursday night, Wiltshire Councillor for Durrington and Larkhill, Graham Wright, said he had a "great working relationship and respect" for the garrison and they had "always been 100 per cent supportive in all matters".

He said the Defence Infrastructure Organisation had called for the new roundabout to be built as soon as possible, because "slow, one-way working" on the Packway for six months or more was "just not acceptable".

Cllr Wright also said the contractors were working seven days a week to complete the works on target, by September 26.

But he said traffic issues had arisen because there was "no obvious alternative route" to accommodate for the closure during "the busiest times on our roads".

At the meeting in Shrewton, one man asked if "there was a single traffic infrastructure plan" carried out by the MOD that had finished on time and asked who was monitoring the works.

Cllr Wright said he was in touch with the contractors, who will eventually be tasked with building14 houses a week to meet the demands and was "totally convinced" the works would finish on schedule.

Lieutenant Colonel David Penniall, deputy garrison commander, said the building works must be delivered on time for the troops' return in 2019, or there would be "serious financial penalties".

But the man said his concern was not for the overall output, but the roundabout and traffic works. He said there had been "a lot of inactivity" at the site, with no workers to be seen there at 9.15am on Thursday.

The panel said this was "new information" that would be followed up.

Cllr Wright asked the 140 attendees in the audience: "Can't we all relax? It's only for a few more weeks.

"It's a horrendous issue for all of us."