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Campaign revived for safer A4 west of the College and more cycle-ways

Car on its roof following a recent incident on the A4, between Downs Lane and the Manton turning  (pic - Peter Morgan)Car on its roof following a recent incident on the A4, between Downs Lane and the Manton turning (pic - Peter Morgan)Accusations of people driving at excessive speed - sometimes with the result shown above - and evidence of poor safety provision for pedestrians along the Bath Road/A4 west of the College, were discussed by the Town Council's Planning Committee of Monday (January 15).  

Three issues were at the forefront of suggestions to improve safety and traffic speeds along that stretch of road that have been submitted to the Area Board's Community Area Transport Group (CATG) - and needed Town Council support.

One of the movers is Peter Morgan who attended the meeting:  "When drivers are coming along the western approach to Marlborough they don't have any perception they're coming into a town - it's more like a race track." 

Top of the agenda is the 'Inappropriate speed limit' from the College west to the town boundary.  The current position is that drivers emerging from either Downs Lane, Manton House estate and Manton Hollow, the turning into Manton or emerging from houses fronting the Bath Road regularly have to turn out into 60mph traffic.

The statement to CATG says:  "There has been a catalogue of accidents to underline the hazards of this stretch of road."   Though Councillor Forbes said he had found no evidence of accidents.

This issue has been campaigned on before: a "significant community lobby 10 years ago was ignored."

The second issue is the narrowness of the pedestrian pathway on north side of Bath Road/A4 between the College and controlled crossing at Manton:  "The pavement is as little as 60cm wide in places meaning HGVs pass within elbow distance. With a pram or on an assistance buggy, the passage along this road can be described as dangerous.  Walking in adult pairs is impossible and dangerous for unsupervised young children."

While major works to widen the pathway were ruled out by town councillors, the Town Clerk said that the Parish Steward would be asked to cut back the grass that was growing over the inside length of the pathway.

The third issue followed from the fact that there is no cycle route on Bath Road/A4 west of College out Manton Hollow:  "The Bath Road west of Marlborough is a very hazardous route for cyclists.  There are no cycle paths or painted routes on the road surface and the road itself has painted centre margins that force traffic into the kerbside along most of its length."

"While a comprehensive Dutch style road remodelling may be impractical for the Bath Road cycle ways would also help to calm traffic by making drivers adjust their thinking from country road to modern urban community."

This has been an issue for 25 years, but this is the 'First direct lobby' on the matter.

Although the submissions to CATG had the effect of airing the issues, it was pointed out that CATG has an annual budget of £13,615.  This is meant to cover signage and simple traffic calming in Marlborough and all the area's villages.

The full submissions can be read here - and on the subsequent page.

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