TRAFFIC congestion in and around the city centre continues to cause concern for road users and the proposals for improvement were discussed at a recent Area Board meeting.

The meeting at the Five Rivers Leisure Centre took place on Thursday, June 8 with the Head of Highways Management, Asset Management and Commissioning, Dave Thomas confirming that the road improvements under consideration are still in the design phase.

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He said: “I will be focussing on the Salisbury junction improvements. Colleagues in the major projects team are looking at work at the Exeter Street roundabout and the Harnham Gyratory which are clearly linked to the A36 college roundabout.

"Whatever happens there has an effect on both Exeter Street and the Gyratory itself."

The proposals include changes to lanes at the Exeter Street Roundabout to reduce the severity of the congestion in these areas.

In addition, a proposal is in place for an additional southbound lane for the New Bridge Road which would reduce the queues that currently impact the Harnham Gyratory and would optimise crossings at the Gyratory.

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Existing pedestrian crossings could be updated to Toucan crossings which are one of four types of pedestrian crossings designed to help both cyclists and pedestrians.  

There is a proposal for new pedestrian crossings and cycling priority crossings at Britford Lane along with new bus shelters and footway on Downton Road which may include the shared use path on Downton Road and New Bridge Road to be widened where possible.

Highways England's, Chris Hildrup said: “We have been talking about modelling, and while we are making progress, I have resisted pressure and still resist pressure to hurry the process along.

"We are very much involved in the modelling process of Southampton Road and it is absolutely crucial that the modelling process works and complements what Wiltshire Council is looking at doing."  

The modelling process extends to the end of 2036 and takes onboard all growth areas as well. Any significant updates regarding the road alterations are unlikely to be made before the end of 2023.