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Not all councillors are against bypass
11:00am Thursday 26th July 2012 in Salisbury Letters
IN last week’s Journal there was a comment in the letters page about the question of the bypass. At the last meeting of the Salisbury Area Board the issue of the A36 was discussed and one of the councillors, Paul Sample , made a comment that people need to get real about the fact that a bypass was both not feasible and would also have a detrimental impact on the environment which may not make it desirable.
Several people since have assumed that this is the view of the entire board. I can’t speak for other councillors but wanted to make my views clear.
I believe that Salisbury needs a bypass. Traffic on the A36 gets worse each year from what I can see and based on the queues I sit in. The problem comes in how to deliver that. When the bypass was last looked at the cost had topped the £100 million mark before it was stopped at Westminster. That scheme could no longer be resurrected as it stood, some of the land has been used, but a scheme could be developed. The problem is the cost would be much higher than the £100 million figure. Given the state of public finances in the country at the moment, that sort of expenditure is sadly not available.
That does not mean that we (your elected officials) are not looking at the idea and I will make sure we take any opportunity that presents itself. I have explored a couple of schemes in the past year which the government launched but sadly were not relevant in the end. We need to be realistic, a bypass is still some way off but personally I do believe we need it and will push for it when ever I can.
In the mean time we need to find every possible way to improve the existing situation we can. The work Tesco is proposing will help the situation there and I am pushing the Highways Agency to take action on the A36, even if that is limited in scope to improve the situation now. For too long we have delayed acting in Salisbury because we are waiting for the perfect solution. We need to still push for the big solutions but in the mean time we need to make every small improvement we can.
RICHARD CLEWER, Salisbury Area Board Chairman