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A338 closure: diversion route amended
AS the date for the closure of a major route into Salisbury looms closer, Wiltshire Council has amended the diversion route after concerns were raised by local businesses.
The A338 will be shut from St Thomas’ Roundabout to the junction of Hurdcott Lane from October 27 to February 14 to allow for the replacement of Broken Cross railway bridge.
Network Rail says the bridge needs to be replaced to allow higher freight trains to travel under it.
However, the plans have angered residents and business owners in the Winterbourne Valley who fear loss of trade and lengthy detours while the work is underway.
At a public meeting in July more than 150 people packed into Glebe Hall to make their voices heard.
They said local businesses would be hit hard and the closure would make life difficult for schoolchildren travelling to Laverstock schools, and people who work in Salisbury.
The original diversion route was to send all traffic via the A303 and the A360.
But businesses said this would have a devastating impact on their passing trade.
In response, the council’s highways department has amended the diversion so that traffic less than 13ft 3ins will use the A345 Castle Road and The Portway.
Signs will be put up at the junction of the Portway and the A338 advising that all businesses in the Winterbourne Valley are open as usual.
Access will be maintained for residents, businesses and visitors to Ford via Ford Lane. And a temporary carriageway will be constructed to allow access to Old Malthouse Lane.
Access to village from the Roman Road/Ford Lane junction will also be maintained, although through traffic will be restricted.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “The work is needed because the current bridge is not wide or tall enough to allow bigger containers to travel underneath it. “It is part of a significant project making alterations to several bridges on the route, to allow us to run bigger freight trains.” Wiltshire Council ’s Cabinet member for highways and transport Dick Tonge said: “Network Rail and its contractors wish to work with us and the local communities to ensure the impact of the road closure is kept to an absolute minimum.” *Prior to the roadworks, British Telecom is carrying out work near the bridge.
Temporary traffic lights are in place and expected to be there for 10 days.