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A36 Link road to A46 is unnecessary

A36 Link road to A46 is unnecessary

Whilst it is not at all difficult to understand why the city of Bath wants to divert through traffic from the A36 to the M46 without traffic going through the town. The resurrection of the proposed link road is not necessary. It is not necessary because most of the HGV traffic should not be using the A36 to reach the M4.

Save the A36 from heavy goods vehicle traffic

The A36 road winds its way through some of the finest countryside in the West of England and through many fine villages. There are alternative routes which traffic could take from the South coast ports. The A350 is one suggestion but that does not remove traffic from the greater part of the A36.  A much better solution would be Southampton  M3, A34 to M4 at Newbury. But then why is there this traffic? Why do ships use the south coast ports when so much of the goods need to be taken by road to an area of the country that already has an excellent port?

The Port of Bristol vs South coast ports

With the approval of the new deep sea container terminal (DSCT) for Avonmouth comes the opportunity to virtually axe the HGV traffic that needs at present to travel up to the Bristol area. The DSCT when built will be able to service the ultra large container ships (ULCS) when they enter service. http://dsct.bristolport.co.uk/ The environmental benefits of the new facility amount to a saving of fifty million HGV kilometres with the resultant saving of thousands of tonnes of CO2. Port of Bristol DSCT benefits The Port of Bristol is closer to a higher proportion of the UK’s container market than other ports in the South and East. economic benefits  A map showing UK Container Imports shows quite clearly that it makes no sense to use HGVs to deliver goods to the West country from the South coast ports when they could be deposited in the region -at the Port of Bristol.

A36 to M4 Link road would increase traffic on the A36

If the link road were to be built then the effect quite apart from the damage to the Bathford area of the Avon valley would be an inevitable increase in traffic on the A36. There would then be a demand to convert the A36 to a  dual carriageway road, leading to a further increase in damage to a precious area of the country.

The A46 winds down through a wonderful valley to the word Heritage city of Bath except that as it enters the Avon valley the ancient hillside has already been hideously savaged by the deep cutting at the foot of the A46. The cutting and the dual carriageway is a completely pointless development as the rest of the A46 is single carriageway. Pointless? Unless they intend to further develop the A46 to dual carriageway up to the M4.

Conclusion

The A36 to A46 link road is not only unnecessary it is also undesirable. In relation to the special quality of the environment through which the A36 lies consider this from Environmental Assets:

5.4 The A46 from Bath to the M4 lies entirely within the Cotswold AONB. Of particular note is the section of the A36 which passes through the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB. At the southern end of the A36 approaching the M27 at junction 2 the route passes adjacent to the northern edge of the New Forest, itself a designated RAMSAR site, a Special Protection Area and a Candidate Special Area of Conservation. It is also currently the subject of a public inquiry for a new national park. The route also passes close to or through a number of designations found under the Countryside Agencies character initiative which include the New Forest character area, Salisbury Plain and the West Wiltshire Downs, the Avonvale and the Cotswolds. Bristol/Bath to South Coast Study

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Posted on 10 Jun 2010 by Geoff Edwards
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