Congestion concerns continue to arise as Dyson in Malmesbury says it may install a second roundabout to cope with its major expansion plans.
The firm, which is yet to submit plans for the idea, is working with Wiltshire Council’s Highways section on a road enhancement scheme to tackle traffic congestion, which is a big local worry.
A roundabout has already been proposed outside of development, with another now planned outside Malmesbury Garden Centre, where originally there were draft plans for traffic lights.
With hundreds of new engineers set to join the Dyson HQ in the next year, if plans are approved, and potentially thousands more in the coming decade, many people are worried about extra traffic. A meeting was called last week between Dyson executives and residents, business chiefs and councillors to talk about the new system plans.
Former Dyson employee Christopher Evans, who runs The Ironworks and Gate Company, in Beuttell Way, where many Dyson employees enter and exit the site, was at the meeting but feels his concerns were brushed aside. He said: “They had a map and they were showing us what their plans were and asking us for our input, but they weren’t interested in our input.
“No one at the meeting was negative about the plan but we all have concerns about aspects, such as congestion, which we feel are being brushed away.
“The major problem is going to be traffic leaving the site and turning off towards the town. The Beuttell Way junction goes on to a residential road and the traffic goes straight down the hill into the town. With an increase in the congestion it will be very difficult for everyone in the morning. If the town is gridlocked it will not be good for the town centre shops.
“We can let Dyson have their big expansion, but it shouldn’t be to the detriment of the town. The roundabout outside the garden centre should have gone in a long time ago but I think Dyson should pay for it. The second roundabout would be a very small gesture of Dyson’s, if they paid for it, considering the amount of congestion this huge development will create in Malmesbury.”
It has not been confirmed how the second roundabout outside the garden centre, if approved, will be funded, but Coun Simon Killane, said the firm was likely to look at government funding.
A Dyson spokesman said: “Dyson are working closely with Wiltshire Council throughout the proposed expansion process, sharing plans for growth and expected increases in the number of staff based in our Malmesbury HQ.
“While Dyson can make suggestions on highway improvements, the decision lies solely with Wiltshire Council. Wiltshire Council have decided that a roundabout will be more appropriate to meeting the needs of Dyson’s and Malmesbury’s future growth.
“Highway improvements and repairs are paid for by the council, with the improvements highlighted by the proposed Dyson expansion forming part of a bigger Wiltshire Council strategy. Wiltshire Council is looking to implement this strategy in order to support residential, industrial and commercial growth in the Malmesbury area.”