Wiltshire Council is due to begin environmental surveys in February on the final phases 4 and 5 – of improvements to the A350 at Chippenham.
The aim is to dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the road past the town and improve Bumpers Farm Roundabout to reduce congestion and improve journey times.
The Government has announced it will allocate £26.6 million for the scheme, and the council is now moving forward with the design phase of the project, starting with environmental and topographic surveys.
These surveys, along with a public engagement exercise to be held later in 2022, will form part of a full business case that will be sent to the Department for Transport which will then confirm the funding.
The key elements of the Phase 4 & 5 project are :-
- Phase 4 dualling: widening the A350 to dual 2-lane carriageways between Chequers Roundabout (A4) and Lackham roundabout. The dualling would take place within the existing wide highway verge to the west of the current carriageway;
- Phase 5 dualling: widening the A350 to dual 2-lane carriageways along the full stretch between Cepen Park South Roundabout and Bumpers Farm Roundabout (A420). The dualling would take place within the existing wide highway verge to the west of the current carriageway;
- A significant remodelling of the Bumpers Farm roundabout junction to provide capacity enhancements and full signalisation; and
- Alterations will be made to Lackham Roundabout capacity to accommodate the additional carriageway.
The highway improvement project will be contained with the existing highway boundary extents and there should be no requirement for additional land. The existing bridges along this route were constructed to accommodate the additional carriageways without needing further major works.
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, the council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The A350 is an important route that links the M4 to the south coast, and we’re delighted to be moving forward with this scheme to complete the improvements to the road around Chippenham.
“These final phases of the dualling of the A350 in this area will improve journey times, add extra capacity for vehicles and reduce congestion in the area. We’re now getting to work on the initial site surveys for the scheme, and then later this year we’ll hold a public consultation to hear what people think about the proposals. If it all progress as we’d like, we would hope to see the scheme completed by 2025.”