Traffic Management in Devizes
30 years ago, the Kennet District Council Integrated Transport Sub-Committee was tasked with looking at integrating the deregulated public transport provision, parking strategy and traffic management in Devizes & Kennet, Noel Woolrych was the Chairman.
Leaving out coordinating bus timetables with each other and rail services, the first aspect looked at was providing cycleways.
We instituted the first cycle track along the London Road – that took 6 years!
We looked extensively at vehicle movement around the town, looking for the possible need for some form of by-pass, a topic that had been floated for several decades. Several Labour Councillors were keen to prove that Devizes needed a bypass. However, we were severly dissapointed to find that this was not only economically unviable but was unneccessary. Origin & destination surveys showed that 80% of the traffic was Devizes. This was done by metro counts and stop and ask surveys (long before ANPR was available). The introduction of the A350 took away a large number of HGVs from the town and the eastern relief road (Windsor Drive) also reduced the vehicle movements through the town centre.
The suggestions to improving the traffic flow were as follows having looked at all the main junctions and pinch points causing peak periods of congestion:
- Brewery Corner, widen to 2 lanes on the Gaiger’s side of the roundabout (this has been done). Install bus-controlled traffic light so as to only allow busses & emergency vehicles approaching from Bath Road direction into the Market Place. In addition, cars approaching from Bath Road looking for Market Place access would be directed down Station Road, via that car park as the car park of choice; exiting into the Market Place by the Corn Exchange.
- Dunkirk Hill, install offset roundabout into grounds owned by Browfort House. This would allow vehicles leaving the town unimpeded exit from the town down Bath Road and Dunkirk Hill. Vehicles coming in to the town would be able to filter onto the roundabout keeping the flow moving.
- Windsor Drive-London Road roundabout should be replaced with flow controlled traffic lights. This has now been completed.
- Roses roundabout - there is no solution.
- Mini-roundabout at the entrance to Quaker's Walk.
- Restoring a rail link to the town was also suggested - This was taken on by DCAP after KDC was merged to form Wiltshire Council. And then taken on by the DDP. It is intended that this will be built by 2025.
Air polution is a major concern. Encouraging the use of Electric Vehicles is one solution, providing safer cycleways is another.