YOU might have seen the story in this paper about the residents in Rotherstone and Avon Terrace, Devizes, asking for Wiltshire council to take action to stop the roads being used as a rat run.

It’s by no means the first time this sort of thing has cropped up and we all know it won’t be the last. You might have read it and thought 'flippin’ NIMBYs' or just wondered why this particular roadway should be treated any differently.

Well, it’s time for me to confess an interest here. I live in Rotherstone. Lots of drivers are inconsiderate, aggressive, or both.

In short, this short stretch of road has become dangerous and we want something done about it. Most of us want the road closed to through traffic. Or at least that’s how I see it. The town council is currently consulting to see if that is the general consensus.

Maybe I am being a little parochial here but I’d suggest that there are many other areas that face this sort of issue and would like to see a similar solution.

The comments section of the online edition has been quite active on this story with opinion polarised. On the one hand, some recognise the dangers and agree that the road should be closed.

At the other extreme, someone else said “in the meantime if there is a short cut and I still pay my taxes I will use the roads that make my life easier”. Ignoring the fact that road taxes stopped being ring-fenced for the highways network in 1937, it’s an attitude that’s indicative of the problem.

In another comments, a resident of Avon Terrace said they thought that parking was the real issue. I can see their point and do sympathise with them. It is a problem down that end of the route and must be a right pain. But it’s a different pain – and one that needs to be addressed separately.

Those who live on Victoria Road appear well pleased with their recently implemented residents’ parking scheme. It looks to me like the good people of Avon Terrace are just as deserving of the same facility.

The person who raised the parking issue said that they didn’t get a chance to speak at the public meeting "thanks to several drama queens who used up most of the oxygen". That’s not really fair. As far as I could see, everyone who raised their hand eventually got a chance to have their say although I must admit that the top table did let too many people speak out of turn.

Emotions were running high because this is a problem that’s been getting worse for years. The two bends by the cemetery (or the ‘Rotherstone chicane’ as one biker I know refers to it) have no pavement, ineffectual lighting and barely room for two cars to pass. But that doesn’t mean they don’t try! And woe betide any pedestrians who happen to be on the bend at that time.

I don’t know anyone who walks along there regularly who hasn’t got a tale to tell of almost being squished through the cemetery railings like a spud though a chipper. And it doesn’t help that when Councillor Whitehead presented the options to us he said: “I don’t care which one you choose”. People noted those first three words.

This needs to be thought through carefully as, whatever happens, there might be some inconvenience. Surely that’s preferable to danger? And our case is by no means unique. As traffic worsens and in the absence of a more holistic solution, we’re going to see more calls for rat runs to be sorted. This could be an interesting precedent.