Residents affected by the closure of the Dauntsey Lock Bridge are celebrating a decision to shut three lanes used as rat-runs by drivers avoiding the official diversion.
Bowd’s Lane, Trow Lane and the lane from Tockenham Wick to Grittenham will be closed to everyone apart from residents while work on the bridge continues.
The bridge, which shut on March 8, will be closed for four more months as part of works to provide an electric rail service from London Paddington to Bristol by 2016.
The official diversion route takes drivers along the B4069 to Chippenham, where they can join the A4 to Calne and head north on the A3102 to Royal Wootton Bassett.
But residents have seen several lorry drivers ignore this and get stuck in the narrow country lanes after trying to find a short-cut. They have also raised concerns about motorists speeding down the lanes, which makes it hard to exercise horses and allow children out to play.
0 resident John Davenport witnessed an accident on the morning of March 27, when a car went into a ditch and had to be towed out.
He said: “It could have been quite a nasty accident. There’s at least another four months to go and that’s if the bridge work goes to time.”
All three lanes will be closed as soon as possible, according to Alister Storey, principal traffic engineer for Wiltshire Council, who emailed residents the same day as the accident.
He said: “I have requested that Network Rail procure the appropriate signs as a matter of urgency. Once the signs are available, a legal notice will be put in place that will make the closure enforceable by the police.”
Trow Lane resident Georgina Ingram said: “It’s a huge relief because it was getting dangerous. I have twin four-year-olds and you just couldn’t go outside. It’s been a bit of a dice with death getting out of the driveway.
“The road has got so bad with people driving on the verges. People don’t keep to the speed limits. They realise there are no road works, so they just put their foot down.
“We will be out in the lane taking photos. We will have to be quite strict about it and report people. Hopefully, we can get our road safe again.”