For those us us living in and around Marlborough and attempting to make all sorts of journeys – be it to Tesco for shopping or just a doctors’ appointment in George Lane – driving around the town over the past year or so has, at times, been hell. Last Monday morning was just that. M4 closure and gas (Wales & West Utilities) works in the critical Salisbury Road snarled the traffic and the town ground to a standstill.
Is this going to be happening again? Soon? Whilst it’s impossible to forecast M4 accidents, conditions or closures, we can get a view of what is planned from a website ‘one.network‘. The pic above shows what is currently planned across the next three months. Is this site reliable? It’s what Wiltshire Council will refer anyone asking about roadworks to, but having observed what it has showed, and what has actually taken place – reliability to a fine degree is debatable. But major closures, such as the rumoured closure of Herd Street for example would be picked up and (should be) be highlighted on the map.
The recent incident and disruption by the gas pipe works did deviate from what was shown – and it is for Wiltshire Council to co-ordinate all disruptive works, and keep residents – us – informed, rather than to hand it (and responsibility) over to a third party such as ‘one.network’. So Wiltshire Council, as the ultimate arbiters, must shoulder this responsibility. Both Marlborough Councillors – Jane Davies (West) and Caroline Thomas (East) have been making this clear within the Council.
So what’s planned in the coming weeks? There have been the Social Media rumours that Herd St will be closed for gas main repairs. No such work is showing as planned, we (marlborough.news) have asked Wiltshire Council representatives about this and so far – response has been ‘no’. So all we can conclude, at this stage, is that it is a rumour, and just that. We hope so.
There will be some disruption in the lower stretch of Kingsbury Street where upper floor windows are having to be replaced in a property opposite to the Town Hall. Or so we understand. There is a potential closure order in place that runs from 17 October to 15 December, but this is there so that contractors can close the road at particular times when safety demands that traffic be kept away. But, as we understand, this is not continuous, just as and when necessary.
So what about the Gigas, the Fibre Broadband installers? All we can see is that late November into early December there will be disruption in Coldharbour Lane which means extra traffic in Blowhorn Street, running parallel. Other than this, not much, apart from road closures for Remembrance, as happens every year, and likely closure (or partial closure) for Lights Switch-On.
In summary, there isn’t much showing as being planned that could be disruptive. But, as we’ve all experienced, this might change. We will aim to report what we hear and uncover as and when, and we would welcome an extended period of ‘free movement’ in and around the town when we can actually get to Tesco, or anywhere else in the town without having to pack emergency subsistence supplies before setting out.