WELL, it’s great to know that I am not alone in my misgivings about Wiltshire Council’s ability to organise a proverbial in a brewery.

City councillors have been taking a look at what Trowbridge optimistically calls its ‘Salisbury Transport Strategy Refresh’, and they’re no more impressed than I am.

Let’s set aside the fact that I don’t consider ‘refresh’ a noun unless you’re talking about a computer screen refresh, and even then it’s only geek-speak!

(As I’ve said before, language-mangling is one of the few things our unitary authority does well.)

The key thing is that this document tells us what those Up There have persuaded themselves will keep Salisbury moving amidst the building bonanza all around us. And it’s just not good enough. Here’s why.

The city council, with the benefit of local knowledge, has long supported the creation of an ‘integrated transport hub’ for bus and rail users. Once again, it’s been ignored.

It suggests reviving the routes of defunct railway lines to help develop tram links to the city, particularly from Stonehenge, Amesbury, Bulford, etc., tying in to such a hub at the station and to the central car park behind Tesco. What an excellent idea for tourists and commuters!

It points out the complete inadequacy of Wiltshire’s answer to traffic emanating from the 840 new homes proposed in Harnham.

Trowbridge talks about unspecified ‘modifications’ to the Harnham gyratory and Exeter Street roundabouts, without mention of costs, timescales, or design.

The city council says it needs this information, and it’s “vital that this work be carried out before the proposed development takes place”. Hear, hear!

With air quality an increasing problem, and mindful of the need to make Salisbury a more attractive leisure destination for visitors as traditional retailing struggles, the city council proposes pedestrianising another “large chunk” of the centre.

Buses and taxis would have access through the redeveloped Maltings and better use would be made of park and ride, including more routes passing through the railway station, and extended operating hours.

One thing all this would achieve would be to open up a larger central space for events, even on market days.

And now that the redevelopment of Churchfields has been kicked into the long grass, the city council wants height and weight restrictions on Crane Bridge Road to keep HGVs out during peak hours, with the HGV MoT site moved off the estate.

Actually, it beats me why we should trust any of Wiltshire’s grand plans for our future when it got Churchfields so wrong.

These are all really worthwhile, interesting ideas that merit a genuine debate, but I suspect Wiltshire’s beleaguered planning staff have no time or appetite for it.

There’s a lot, too, in the city’s report about the need for a green infrastructure of walking and cycling routes – and that’s a subject I can’t do justice to this week because of space constraints, but I’d like to tackle it next time.