Wiltshire Council has refused to rule out the possibility of a bypass being built to alleviate congestion in Devizes.

The council has provided an update on the likelihood of a bypass being constructed to ease traffic worries in the town centre.

This comes after a Highways Matters event where representatives answered locals’ questions about the state of the area’s road network.

Some residents believe a Devizes relief road could prevent excess traffic at busy junctions during peak times, while others fear it would harm businesses in the town centre.

The council told this paper they would consider all options to resolve congestion within the town.

While the 2012 Devizes Transport Strategy seemingly ruled out the construction of a relief road, the council says subsequent data collection and policy development could potentially change this.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Traffic during roadworks in DevizesTraffic during roadworks in Devizes (Image: Noel Woolrych)

Any future plans for a bypass, or other solutions, would be considered through the development and adoption of the emerging Local Transport Plan.

The current Wiltshire Core Strategy does not specifically mention the provision of a bypass for Devizes after a 2012 report found it would cost £16.5 million.

To fund such a development, the report estimated 5,000 new homes or more would need to be built in the area, far exceeding the demand for Devizes.

Because of this, a bypass was not included for further consideration at the time.

The threat of congestion in the town increasing as a result of new housing developments being built in and around Devizes is an issue raised by residents on numerous occasions.

Some locals have objected to multiple plans for new housing on this basis.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Traffic during roadworks in DevizesTraffic during roadworks in Devizes (Image: Noel Woolrych)

This includes schemes still under consideration, such as the Wadworth brewery regeneration, and approved proposals like the new development at the Hillworth Valley.

The council says it is aware of localised congestion as a result of the town attracting visitors, whether for employment, tourism, or through movements.

Council officers insist they will continue to work with the town council to develop strategies and infrastructure which will reduce congestion and improve air quality locally.

They added that because Devizes is a “constrained settlement” it has not been made subject of additional housing allocation under current policies.

While consideration is made for the renovation and re-use of Devizes Wharf, it is hoped any traffic generated from the rejuvenation of this site will be offset by the loss of existing uses.