Our children and grandchildren deserve better
We are making an emotional plea to Wiltshire Council’s planners and decision-makers, urging them to consider the ‘bigger picture’ when making development choices that will have an irreversible impact on Wiltshire’s landscape and quality of life for generations to come.
Our local authority is letting down the next generation by basing major road- and house-building decisions – like the proposed Melksham and another Westbury bypass schemes plus the distributor road around Chippenham – on outdated facts, figures and assumptions of economic growth. These ignore the Climate Emergency and the real impact of Covid-19.
We believe that the County Council appears to be locked into a mindset that we can build our way out of these crises. By contrast, what we need is a rethink based on working, shopping and travel habits that have been changed by the pandemic.
We owe it to our children and grandchildren not to squander the countryside around us and the recreational opportunities it provides. Let’s not plough on doing the same old things like building more roads to try to address congestion, noise and air pollution. We should be finding more sustainable transport solutions and preserving the green spaces around us. We owe it to future generations to be responsible about the environmental legacy we leave behind us. There’s a lack of joined-up thinking at Wiltshire Council. Schemes are examined on a piecemeal basis without stopping to assess the bigger picture – the reality of the Climate Emergency and Covid-19.
Wiltshire Council is undertaking a public consultation on the options available to improve the A350 at Melksham, including the potential for a new bypass around the town.
Building another road through greenfield land is not the answer. Both the Government and Wiltshire Council have pledged to reduce emissions which should mean fewer car journeys, not more. Covid has shown many of our work commutes and leisure journeys are unnecessary. Let’s learn from that. Now is the time to take stock and reassess the type of infrastructure we need for the future. What’s needed is a step-change in thinking.
Major investment should be made in public transport and local connections to support new ways of working and reduce journeys.