20 June 2024

Public opinion on plans to improve Salisbury’s junctions revealed

Today, (1st September), Wiltshire Council has published the public consultation report on the proposed junction improvements at Exeter Street Roundabout, Harnham Gyratory and Park Wall in Salisbury.

The non-statutory public consultation was held between 17th June 2021 and 18th July 2021 and received 290 responses to the online questionnaire and 67 emails which contained a total of 1,214 comments on various aspects of the schemes. However, Wiltshire Council state that in some cases, the written submissions may have duplicated questionnaire responses also given.

The schemes aim to improve the capacity of the transport network in Salisbury; reduce the frequency of personal injury accidents; improve north-south connectivity; Reduce delay and improve journey time and promote sustainable travel for local trips.

Summary of key findings:

  • At Exeter Street Roundabout Option 1 (which involves exiting and entering the junction as per the existing layout) was preferred to Option 2 (which involves implementing a new arm next to the cathedral wall with the removal of up to three trees).
  • The removal of trees at the Exeter Street Roundabout with Option 2 was considered to have a negative effect (15%).
  • The proposed changes at Harnham Gyratory were not considered to be significant enough by some (8%), and it was thought that the pedestrian crossings around Harnham Gyratory were inconvenient and did not follow desire lines (4%).
  • There were some suggestions that the proposed changes at Park Wall would make little difference (6%), and the geometry of the junction needed to be amended (3%), with possibly compulsory purchase used (3%).
  • Some thought that the improvements appeared to encourage the use of motor vehicles rather than promoting active travel (5%) or thought that walking and cycling infrastructure should be prioritised (3%), but an appreciable number thought that larger-scale improvements were needed.
  • It was suggested that College Roundabout was the junction that required improvement (17%), that Salisbury needs a bypass (15%), or that the proposals were too minor in nature and would not overcome the problems (10%).

Wiltshire Council says the information collected through the consultation process will now be used to develop and inform the assessment of the options in more detail. However, it should be noted that the consultation is not a public ‘vote’ for the most popular option.

Cllr Charles McGrath, Leader of Salisbury City Council Conservatives, commented:

“Local residents and community organisations have spoken almost in unity on the Harnham Gyratory, Exeter Street Roundabout and Park Wall Junction works, giving Wiltshire Council clear direction on ways to deliver a scheme that will benefit motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike.

“The Conservative group is pleased to see that ‘Option 2’ of the Exeter Street Roundabout improvements has received unanimous objection and that the necessity of the traffic light-controlled crossing across the Churchill Way South exit has been questioned.

“While this investment from the Department for Transport only tackles one aspect of Salisbury’s perennial traffic problems, we are hopeful that it will act as the precursor for stronger action to reduce congestion on the A36, managed by National Highways (formerly Highways England).”

Cllr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The initial consultation and engagement exercise was very useful, as it enabled us to tap into local knowledge to make changes to improve the scheme.

“We’re using the results of this engagement exercise as part of the outline business case that we’ll send to the Department for Transport (DfT) to move the project to the next stage.

“Once we’ve had feedback from DfT, we’ll develop the project in more detail. There will then be further opportunities for people to have their say and for their feedback to help us shape the scheme.

“This project will increase capacity on Salisbury’s transport network for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, reduce delays and improve journey time reliability for all vehicles, including buses at the three junctions.”

Read the full report here, and find more information on the plans for Salisbury junction improvements here.

Image from Google Maps Street View.

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty