Marlborough roads in need of repair are being overlooked by Wiltshire Council - ‘slipped off the list… by accident’
This Thursday, (December 15) the lack of plans for re-surfacing roads in Marlborough during 2017 will be discussed during the closed meeting the Marlborough Community Area Transport Group - known as CAT-G or just CATG.
There will be a lot to discuss as the lack of plans featured noisily at Monday's full council meeting (December 12). According to an e-mail received by Councillor Richard Allen (who represents the town council on CATG) the roads listed as ‘priority’ on the agenda for Thursday's meeting did not include those in the town which are in a dire state and which town councillors had asked to be on the list.
Councillor Allen pointed out that the list mentioned Ram Alley, Wet Pits Lane (to the north of Ogbourne St Andrew), Salthrop, the A4 to the east of Marlborough between Stitchcombe and Great Bedwyn junctions and the A4 stretch between Beckhampton Roundabout and Silbury Hill.
“Other than these absolutely nothing within Marlborough” he noted. “No mention of The Parade, George Lane, or London Road.”
“When we think about the volume of traffic that comes through this town and we’re not even down for George Lane, we’re not down for The Parade, we’re not down for London Road….. it’s absolutely disgraceful”, complained Councillor Dobson, who represents Marlborough East on Wiltshire Council.
“These have been raised at the CATG meetings," stated Councillor Fogg. “But after everything that has been said at CATG meetings The Parade yet again has slipped off the list..... by accident.”
He added: “And I hope that we will all be there on Thursday and give them a right bashing on this one”.
Councillor Dobson told his fellow councillors: “I can only think that they are looking after these very minor rural roads instead of grasping the nettle and dealing with our main roads..... We’ve got to change it.”
Councillor Allen then pointed out that these omissions were contrary to a recent ‘lengthy report’ compiled by Wiltshire Council into the state of the roads within and around Marlborough. Referring to the report he explained:
“The ‘A’ roads in Marlborough are on average in a worse condition than the rest of Wiltshire. However, the ‘B’ roads and ‘C’ roads are in better condition than the rest of Wiltshire, allegedly, and the ‘unclassified’ are on a par with the rest of Wiltshire”.
The CATG meetings are not public. However, Marlborough.News has applied to the Councillor Jemima Milton, who chairs the Group, to attend Thursday's session. She has rejected our request.
She believes that as the present councillors have less than five months before new elections, it would be wrong for her to change the rules now: "It should be up to the next Group to make that decision."
She added: "We don't make decisions at CAT-G - we make recommendations to the Area Board. And these meetings are not public elsewhere in Wiltshire."
So we shall never know how the discussion develops about the third-world condition of The Parade and the vehicle-damaging bits of George Lane and the London Road. Nor shall we know how Wiltshire Council's highways officers who attend the meeting defend their position.
Unless someone tells us.