RADICAL ideas to solve Marlborough’s traffic and pollution problems include a call to create an underground car park under the recreation ground and a plea to stop all lorries passing through the town.

Traffic issues were debated at a heated residents’ meeting on Tuesday, intended to discuss the problems in Kingsbury Street, which has been branded a safety risk.

Cllr Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways at Wiltshire Council, heard the pleas from residents to downgrade the A346, remove it from lorry routes and force HGVs to use the A34.

However, she said Marlborough would not be prioritised over other towns when it came to banning HGVs, and added that any change would take significant time.

Data gathered by Wiltshire Council discovered a drop in the number of lorries going through Marlborough, from 1,958 a day in 2004 to just 726 a day in 2016, equalling one every three minutes.

But the council admitted the size of lorries had increased during this time and residents argued that the town was being “strangled by traffic and pollution”.

Marlborough Area Board confirmed that 20 devices to measure traffic had been set up throughout the town, to provide vital information on vehicle flows.

Residents of Kingsbury Street also urged councillors to limit the road to 20mph and change the location of the road’s loading bay.

Cllr Wayman said: “If people want to speed, it doesn’t matter if the limit is 20, 30 or 40, they will break it. There is always one person who will try to break the limit and I don’t know what we do to stop that.”

Adrian Hampton, head of local highways for Wiltshire Council said: “It’s not just about looking at one street. You must be careful about where you push the traffic, so you don’t make the situation worse.”

Resident Tanya Edmondson replied: “Lots and lots of drivers come through there and they don’t brake, they don’t realise what they are driving into.

“It’s a sharp bend. There are wheelchairs, mobility scooters and children going to schools.”

One resident of Barn Street said: “Every day I have to check before I leave my house to make sure I don’t get smashed in the face by a lorry or hit in the back of the head by a wing mirror. Lorries are impatient and so they decide to start moving and mount the kerb.

“There are railings all over Marlborough in much wider places. Why aren’t they on the roads like Barn Street where there is a need?”

Cllr Nick Fogg praised the call to put up railings in Barn Street and added that changing the surface of the road in Kingsbury Street could encourage road users to slow down.