Dauntsey Lock 'rat run' closures leaving us isolated, say traders and residents

Lyneham Farm Shop owner Tim Webb, front centre, with business people and residents unhappy with road closures caused by the shutting of Dauntsey Lock railway bridge

Lyneham Farm Shop owner Tim Webb, front centre, with business people and residents unhappy with road closures caused by the shutting of Dauntsey Lock railway bridge

First published in News by

Traders who are losing business and home owners who have been ‘marooned’ by road closures caused by the shutting of Dauntsey Lock railway bridge are calling for compensation.

Business people held a meeting on Monday evening to protest about the decision to close three narrow roads that had been used as rat runs by drivers since the bridge was shut on March 8 for five months of work.

Bowd’s Lane, Trow Lane and the road from Grittleton to Tockenham Wick were closed at the end of last week after residents complained about road safety.

But the closure has hit businesses such as Pound Farm Shop in Lyneham, which is run by Tim Webb.

He said: “My business at the weekend was down by 50 per cent because a lot of our customers come from villages on the other side of the closures and people are not going to drive 20 miles in each direction to come here.

“I have four part-time staff and I may have to think about reducing this number. We raised the issue of compensation with councillor Allison Bucknell.”

Vet Samantha Taylor, 34, who lives in Bradenstock with her husband, said the closures have turned her five-minute journey to take her two children to nursery into a half-hour trip each way.

She said: “This means I lose work time or I have to pay for an additional childcare. As I work hard part-time the margins are small and it is not dramatic of me to say that the additional travel caused by the closures means my business may fold.”

On Monday she tried to use one of the closed lanes to reach her house but was turned back by a policeman.

She said: “I could see my house but because I am not a resident of one of the closed roads I was not allowed to go down there. I think people who live nearby should be given special dispensation to use the lanes.”

Coun Bucknell, who represents Lyneham on Wiltshire Council, said there was no easy answer. She said: “I know people are frustrated by the extra road closures and the only way forward may be for them to get compensation from Network Rail, but I think they would have to do this out of kindness rather than as a matter of law.”

North Wiltshire MP James Gray was due to meet Network Rail bosses yesterday to talk about the problem and promised to raise the issue of compensation.

The road closures were sanctioned by Wiltshire Council’s principal traffic engineer Alister Storey after complaints about speeding traffic down the narrow lanes. Police are now able to enforce the closures.

The closure of Dauntsey Lock bridge is part of essential works to provide an electric rail service from London Paddington to Bristol by 2016.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Electrifying the Great Western Main Line will improve the journeys of millions of people.

“We sympathise with local businesses but unfortunately there is no legal basis for a claim for compensation.

"The electrification of the Great Western is a Government-funded programme and it is therefore vital that we deliver the work as efficiently as possible.”

Comments (9)

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12:01pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Stanley Baxter says...

If the police can enforce the road closures why can't they enforce the speeding cars and the weight limit. This isn't just damaging local businesses it is severely damaging the local residents, businesses and their staff. There will be job losses unless something is soon done. We are only at the end of week five out of 22 weeks. We have already heard rumours that Dauntsey bridge is going to stay closed until Mid Oct. Please God they are wrong.

Then we have to deal with the Skew bridge closures. If the small lanes are shut for Dauntsey I bet you 50p they will stay closed while Skew bridge is shut as well.

We need one way traffic on the three lanes. Down Bowd's and Trow up the unnamed lane that comes out opposite the abattoir.

If there are enough police to enforce the closures they should be able to enforce a one way system.

The only man to have tried to help the local businesses is Dr Brian Matthew and he has emailed, rung, written letters and visited people to see what help and advice he can give. Thank you Dr matthew.
If the police can enforce the road closures why can't they enforce the speeding cars and the weight limit. This isn't just damaging local businesses it is severely damaging the local residents, businesses and their staff. There will be job losses unless something is soon done. We are only at the end of week five out of 22 weeks. We have already heard rumours that Dauntsey bridge is going to stay closed until Mid Oct. Please God they are wrong. Then we have to deal with the Skew bridge closures. If the small lanes are shut for Dauntsey I bet you 50p they will stay closed while Skew bridge is shut as well. We need one way traffic on the three lanes. Down Bowd's and Trow up the unnamed lane that comes out opposite the abattoir. If there are enough police to enforce the closures they should be able to enforce a one way system. The only man to have tried to help the local businesses is Dr Brian Matthew and he has emailed, rung, written letters and visited people to see what help and advice he can give. Thank you Dr matthew. Stanley Baxter
  • Score: 5

10:59pm Tue 15 Apr 14

WrensRule says...

I was stopped by a very polite policeman on Friday morning who informed me that he should be issuing me with a £50 fine. I take it that it was just a warning because he asked me to turn around and follow the diversion signs. I did see that he took note of my registration number so I take it now that I am marked.
I understand now that the Grittenham road now has Road Closed signs up....goodness me are there road works down there too!!
I travel from Sutton Benger to Lyneham & Bushton several times a week and I might add not usually during the rush hours. I do not consider myself above the law but really do not see the harm in travelling these roads carefully that are so say closed.
I consider myself a law abiding citizen and I am also a ROAD TAX payer but am unable to use my local roads. When my car tax needs renewing at the end of the month will I get a rebate because I cannot use these roads..... answer NO. Will there be a policeman to come to my aid should I need one during rush hour...... let’s hope so and that he’s not down Trow Lane issuing £50 fines.
WHY on earth haven’t Trow Lane & Bowds Lane been made ONE WAY that way there would only be a short distance where the traffic would cross.
I TOTALLY understand that these roads are not suitable for the larger vehicles but surely cars if driven carefully are acceptable.
The lane I live in at Sutton Benger also has signs with regards to the diversions saying not suitable for HGVs.... so maybe one day last week I was mistaken to count 6 HGVs using it....can I get a ROAD CLOSED sign?
Then so as to add salt to the wound I was speaking to a resident of Daunsey Lock and was told that there is only work being done on the bridge for about 3 hrs a day and this is during the NIGHT. So that’s the reason the closure is for so long.
I would like to say to the residents of Bushton, Clyffe Pypard and surrounding villages BEWARE because there will be utter chaos when they close Skew Bridge and the one on Marlborough Road Wootton Bassett, let’s hope they are not closed at the same time. You may be OK if you have a secret agent in the form of a councillor living next door.
I also give big hats off to the people of Daunsey that have to put up with these diversions for so long and that I hope that everyone driving through your village are doing so respectfully.
In summary I would like to say that the Railways, the council and the Police are doing a mighty fine job with their planning of these bridge closures works.........NOT
I was stopped by a very polite policeman on Friday morning who informed me that he should be issuing me with a £50 fine. I take it that it was just a warning because he asked me to turn around and follow the diversion signs. I did see that he took note of my registration number so I take it now that I am marked. I understand now that the Grittenham road now has Road Closed signs up....goodness me are there road works down there too!! I travel from Sutton Benger to Lyneham & Bushton several times a week and I might add not usually during the rush hours. I do not consider myself above the law but really do not see the harm in travelling these roads carefully that are so say closed. I consider myself a law abiding citizen and I am also a ROAD TAX payer but am unable to use my local roads. When my car tax needs renewing at the end of the month will I get a rebate because I cannot use these roads..... answer NO. Will there be a policeman to come to my aid should I need one during rush hour...... let’s hope so and that he’s not down Trow Lane issuing £50 fines. WHY on earth haven’t Trow Lane & Bowds Lane been made ONE WAY that way there would only be a short distance where the traffic would cross. I TOTALLY understand that these roads are not suitable for the larger vehicles but surely cars if driven carefully are acceptable. The lane I live in at Sutton Benger also has signs with regards to the diversions saying not suitable for HGVs.... so maybe one day last week I was mistaken to count 6 HGVs using it....can I get a ROAD CLOSED sign? Then so as to add salt to the wound I was speaking to a resident of Daunsey Lock and was told that there is only work being done on the bridge for about 3 hrs a day and this is during the NIGHT. So that’s the reason the closure is for so long. I would like to say to the residents of Bushton, Clyffe Pypard and surrounding villages BEWARE because there will be utter chaos when they close Skew Bridge and the one on Marlborough Road Wootton Bassett, let’s hope they are not closed at the same time. You may be OK if you have a secret agent in the form of a councillor living next door. I also give big hats off to the people of Daunsey that have to put up with these diversions for so long and that I hope that everyone driving through your village are doing so respectfully. In summary I would like to say that the Railways, the council and the Police are doing a mighty fine job with their planning of these bridge closures works.........NOT WrensRule
  • Score: 1

2:20pm Fri 18 Apr 14

grandcru36 says...

The closure is an emergency closure under Section 14(2) of the 1984 Traffic Act. It is for 21 days and expires on the 25 April.
It was issued by Wiltshire County Council without proper notice and adequate consultation. It was a Knee jerk reaction to the complaints from the residents of the 11 houses and I farm in Bowds Lane and Trow Lane.
The closure was not requested by the police or rail track!
We must all make sure we lobby Wiltshire County Council not to renew the emergency closure and to allow a one way system to operate.
I suggest you contact James Grey the MP, Chairman of Wiltshire Council and the Transport Department of Wiltshire Council. It is a waste of time chasing your local Wiltshire councillor as she has a conflict of interest owning property in Trow lane!
The closure is an emergency closure under Section 14(2) of the 1984 Traffic Act. It is for 21 days and expires on the 25 April. It was issued by Wiltshire County Council without proper notice and adequate consultation. It was a Knee jerk reaction to the complaints from the residents of the 11 houses and I farm in Bowds Lane and Trow Lane. The closure was not requested by the police or rail track! We must all make sure we lobby Wiltshire County Council not to renew the emergency closure and to allow a one way system to operate. I suggest you contact James Grey the MP, Chairman of Wiltshire Council and the Transport Department of Wiltshire Council. It is a waste of time chasing your local Wiltshire councillor as she has a conflict of interest owning property in Trow lane! grandcru36
  • Score: 2

9:12pm Sat 26 Apr 14

i hate potholes says...

road closure has expired on the 25th of april, yipee, happy road travel!!!!!!!!
road closure has expired on the 25th of april, yipee, happy road travel!!!!!!!! i hate potholes
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Stanley Baxter says...

Great news, let's hope they stay open.
Great news, let's hope they stay open. Stanley Baxter
  • Score: 0

10:55pm Tue 29 Apr 14

i hate potholes says...

Unfortunately the residents of three lanes have got road closure renewed from the 26th for another 21 days.
Unfortunately the residents of three lanes have got road closure renewed from the 26th for another 21 days. i hate potholes
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Mon 5 May 14

WrensRule says...

WHY HAS THE COMMENTS BEEN CLOSED ON THE STORY "RAT RUN TO SHUT FOR SAFETY AT DAUNTSEY LOCK BRIDGE" ??

I think we should all give a big three cheers to the petty small mined people of Bowds & Trow lanes for the slight inconvenience of having some extra traffic using their “PRIVATE” lanes, because I have heard a rumour this weekend that Foxham is now thinking of applying to get their lanes CLOSED because people are being forced to use them... and who can blame them really.
I will say to the people of Trow & Bowds Lanes that once all this ROAD CLOSED madness is finished that I promise you that I will use YOUR lanes as much as I possibly can and I hope that everyone one else will as well, just to get our ROAD TAX worth.
I personally say a HUGE THANK YOU to the people of Dauntsey and surrounding lanes who are the ones that are having to deal with the brunt of this bridge closure, for taking it in their stride. I only hope that people are driving respectfully through their lanes.
I think that the Railways & Wiltshire Council have made a disgraceful job with the planning (or not) of this bridge closure & I only hope that they are going to make a better job with the planning of Skew bridge & Marbourgh road bridges in Wootton Bassett when they are closed. Because if the people of Bushton, Tockenham, Breech Lane, Log lane & Preston Lane apply to get closures on their lanes it will be more of the same madness for another group of people trying to go about their daily business. There’s surely no reason they won’t be able to get it if Bowd & Trow lanes are anything to go by, unless that is that they don’t have the same type of influence as the “SPECIAL” people in Trow & Bowds Lanes.
In truth how many of us hugely inconveniced people are actually users or will use the “new “trains once an obscene amount of money has been spent on these bridges. NOT a lot of use because they are too expense to travel on.
I am now going to send this to BBC local news & James Gray because I feel that this situation needs to be addressed ASAP as we have at least another 4 months of this ridiculous situation.
WHY HAS THE COMMENTS BEEN CLOSED ON THE STORY "RAT RUN TO SHUT FOR SAFETY AT DAUNTSEY LOCK BRIDGE" ?? I think we should all give a big three cheers to the petty small mined people of Bowds & Trow lanes for the slight inconvenience of having some extra traffic using their “PRIVATE” lanes, because I have heard a rumour this weekend that Foxham is now thinking of applying to get their lanes CLOSED because people are being forced to use them... and who can blame them really. I will say to the people of Trow & Bowds Lanes that once all this ROAD CLOSED madness is finished that I promise you that I will use YOUR lanes as much as I possibly can and I hope that everyone one else will as well, just to get our ROAD TAX worth. I personally say a HUGE THANK YOU to the people of Dauntsey and surrounding lanes who are the ones that are having to deal with the brunt of this bridge closure, for taking it in their stride. I only hope that people are driving respectfully through their lanes. I think that the Railways & Wiltshire Council have made a disgraceful job with the planning (or not) of this bridge closure & I only hope that they are going to make a better job with the planning of Skew bridge & Marbourgh road bridges in Wootton Bassett when they are closed. Because if the people of Bushton, Tockenham, Breech Lane, Log lane & Preston Lane apply to get closures on their lanes it will be more of the same madness for another group of people trying to go about their daily business. There’s surely no reason they won’t be able to get it if Bowd & Trow lanes are anything to go by, unless that is that they don’t have the same type of influence as the “SPECIAL” people in Trow & Bowds Lanes. In truth how many of us hugely inconveniced people are actually users or will use the “new “trains once an obscene amount of money has been spent on these bridges. NOT a lot of use because they are too expense to travel on. I am now going to send this to BBC local news & James Gray because I feel that this situation needs to be addressed ASAP as we have at least another 4 months of this ridiculous situation. WrensRule
  • Score: 1

7:19pm Mon 5 May 14

WrensRule says...

I have just seen on James Gray's facebook page that a Foxham resident has asked him to go there to witness the speeding traffic.
PLEASE CAN EVERYONE WHO IS USING THIS CUT TROUGH STICK TO THE SPEED LIMITS FOR THE GOOD OF EVERYONE. DO NOT GIVE THEM A REASON TO CLOSE THE ROADS.
I have just seen on James Gray's facebook page that a Foxham resident has asked him to go there to witness the speeding traffic. PLEASE CAN EVERYONE WHO IS USING THIS CUT TROUGH STICK TO THE SPEED LIMITS FOR THE GOOD OF EVERYONE. DO NOT GIVE THEM A REASON TO CLOSE THE ROADS. WrensRule
  • Score: 1

10:52pm Thu 8 May 14

Pammy62 says...

Does anyone actually know why the works are taking so long as I was speaking with one of the bridge engineers last Monday and they informed me that the bridge had been taken down on the previous Thursday and Friday and was due to go back up on the Monday? I asked him why on earth the road had to be closed for so long, since the bridge had been taken down and put up in less than a week and he just shrugged and said "It has to be plumbed in"!!!! I am assuming that all the "plumbing in" is taking place below the bridge so I wonder why they can't just let the traffic flow over the bridge while they work underneath.
Does anyone actually know why the works are taking so long as I was speaking with one of the bridge engineers last Monday and they informed me that the bridge had been taken down on the previous Thursday and Friday and was due to go back up on the Monday? I asked him why on earth the road had to be closed for so long, since the bridge had been taken down and put up in less than a week and he just shrugged and said "It has to be plumbed in"!!!! I am assuming that all the "plumbing in" is taking place below the bridge so I wonder why they can't just let the traffic flow over the bridge while they work underneath. Pammy62
  • Score: 0

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