ONE of Marlborough’s vital transport arteries has been disrupted by road works set to last for three weeks.

Pewsey Road near to River Park and Castle Court will have the two way traffic light system while electrical cabling is installed for Marlborough College say Wiltshire County Council Highways Division.

It means traffic congestion at one of the busiest shopping periods of the year and a potential economic hit for the town.

Mayor Lisa Farrell said: “They just don’t think. It will stop people coming into the town to shop with a big knock-on effect.

"The authorities don’t seem to plan these things and it will cause a lot of congestion.”

Speaking for the retail traders of the town Bob Holman said it would kill trade as customers won’t come into town when they see the traffic jams.

He said: “Why do Highways have to plan it now during such a busy time? It is ludicrous as traffic will back up in all directions and people will simply turn around and go home.”

He said traffic is likely to tail back along the A4 Bath Road blocking access to the car parks and the High Street while in the other direction Pewsey Road will see queues up Granham Hill and George Lane.

Gaye Denyer who runs a social media site dedicated to campaigning for improved roads in the town said traffic misery will be the result.

She said: “Wiltshire Highways don’t understand Marlborough. It’s an old fashioned town with narrow roads and doesn’t have wide main roads and big roundabouts.

"A van parked in the wrong place can cause gridlock let alone roadworks that last for weeks.

“With all the development on the road to Pewsey it has already seen roadworks. Why do they choose now when it is busy? You’ve got the school run in George Lane, Christmas shoppers and HGVs that use the town as a shortcut. The town council do their best but it is down to to the planners in Highways.”

In response a Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “Temporary traffic lights will be manually controlled between 7am – 7pm to help to manage the flow of traffic. The works allow Marlborough College to install a new power supply.

“We appreciate roadworks can cause delays, especially in the run up to Christmas, however the works have to be completed at a time when the power provider can make the connection. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”