Tuesday, 25 November 2008


I don't know about you, but I think we are reasonably well served for transport in the South West. Sure, there are probably lots of local improvements that could be made. Like replacing the pelican crossings with over bridges or underpasses on Great Western Way in my neck of the woods in Swindon - why snarl up a major artery with pedestrians?

Bristol Dave has a few problems with his local transport policy.

Re-instating some outlying suburban railway stations would be a nice one as well.

However, there are three particularly poor routes that really get my goat.

The first is how you get from Bristol, or Gloucester, or Swindon to Weymouth or anywhere in between. It is a horrible, horrible journey unless you are suitably blessed with a helicopter or light aircraft. What we need is at least a dual carriageway (A34 look-alike?) or preferably a motorway that leaves M4 J17 at Chippenham and then runs through Trowbridge, Frome (with a spur to Salisbury), crosses the A303 at Wincanton and then heads for Dorchester (joining the A35 for routes to Poole, Bournemouth and on to the M27) and finally Weymouth. I can hear the howls of anguish from the environmentalists, but I would point them at the railways that used to serve a real purpose in the north-south routes for people and goods that were never replaced. The Somerset and Dorset, the Midland and South Western Junction.

The second is yes - the single carriageway bits of the A30 in Devon and Cornwall. Come on, let's get the duals connected, eh?

The last is the A419 at Birdlip Hill, between Gloucester and Swindon. A stupid, stupid lack of three or so miles of dual carriageway (and probably a tunnel) reduces this road which is almost a motorway to a crawl.

Enough from me, I know nothing. However, the South West Regional Assembly does. Chapter 5 of the EiP Report should bring you up to speed. Oh - this document will also tell you a lot more about regional (sic - read 'centralised') planning.

No comments: