I'm writing to comment on the latest delay regarding the Stonehenge tunnel project.

I live in Lower Bemerton, a village on the edge of Salisbury just beyond Churchfields industrial estate.

It is a fairly densely populated village, and the road through is sometimes narrow, has deep bends, and is missing pavements in certain sections. It is a 20 MPH limit, but the signage is poor.  

The village has been subjected to a huge increase in the volume of traffic for the last year or so.

Salisbury Journal:

Endless roadworks on Netherhampton Road, Wilton Road, Fisherton Street, and Devizes Road, all of which have been poorly planned and managed by Wiltshire Council, have conspired to create a dangerous and chaotic scenario by funnelling unmonitored traffic through this neglected area on a daily basis.

Residents of the area have been pleading with Wiltshire Council for months to provide some kind of traffic calming and speed reducing measures. Wiltshire Council has flatly refused.

And then, over Easter, to add insult to injury, it was announced that Devizes Road would be closed for four months because of the Stonehenge project.

There is a further unacceptable volume of traffic passing through Lower Bemerton now all day and every day because of this.

National Highways have been contacted about this, but there has been no response, despite their promises to work with local communities. 

There is a significant number of cars at certain times of the day, that are driving excessively fast with no due care or concern.  

The council says that the locally parked cars are sufficient to calm the speed of the traffic.

This is patently absurd, as vehicles parked legally in the road are regularly damaged.  Thousands of pounds worth of damage. 

The police say they will occasionally send in speed enforcement officers, but due to high demand this will be occasional. This will therefore be ineffective.

I find it hard to believe, that given the uncertain status of the Stonehenge Tunnel project, that Wiltshire Council could not have mounted a solid appeal to postpone the installation of the cables until the project was certain to go ahead.

This would also have allowed time to negotiate the placing of the cables in the adjacent fields, as had been suggested. 

I also find it hard to believe that the so-called traffic management engineers in Salisbury could not have done a far better job of managing roadworks, and traffic diversions.

It is extraordinary that a council that is ranked one of the lowest in the country in all departments, remains unaccountable for their poor policies and practices.

If Wiltshire Council was a school it would be in special measures. If it was a private company, there would be people losing jobs by now.

The fallout on so many local communities from their ongoing general inefficiency is intolerable. 

But nothing changes. 

 Meanwhile local businesses are going to the wall, and many local residents in various areas are struggling to deal with months of chaos.

So we are now apparently faced with the possible spectre of an epic fail that outdoes HS2.

They are presently installing a cable at huge expense to the taxpayer and at great cost to the surrounding local communities, which could possibly turn out to be absolutely useless if the current appeal to halt the Stonehenge project is upheld.

It seems as though both National Highways, SSEN and Wiltshire Council are holding the residents and the businesses of Salisbury in utter contempt. 

It is frankly, incomprehensible. 

Name and address supplied

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