Plans to turn further sections of a major Wiltshire A-road into a dual carriageway remain on track to begin early next year.

The dualling of the remaining sections of the A350 at Chippenham is scheduled to start in spring 2024, but is dependent on approval from the Department of Transport.

Wiltshire Council told this paper they are expecting approval of their Full Business Case for the scheme by early next year, which would allow them to begin construction on time.

The first three phases of dualling the Chippenham bypass have already been completed and the final stages would see the entire bypass become a dual carriageway.

This would include the A350 in both directions between the Chequers and Lackham Roundabouts and then between the Bumpers Farm and Cepen Park South Roundabouts.

The scheme would also see improvements made to the Bumpers Farm Roundabout, including additional lanes on the A420 approaches and exits in both directions.

Swindon Advertiser: The Bumpers Farm RoundaboutThe Bumpers Farm Roundabout (Image: Trevor Porter)

Signal controlled pedestrian crossings would also be added to the roundabout on both the A350 and the A420.

If the project remains on track these works are expected to be completed by spring 2025.

The council believes this would reduce journey times and congestion along the A350 and improve safety by reducing the number of crashes on the route.

They are currently in the final stages of a statutory procurement process which will see them announce their contractors for the major development.

The scheme has received the backing of local MP Michelle Donelan who welcomed the acceleration of the plans in the government’s growth plans last year.

At the time she said: “This will mean the project happens quicker which is especially important to alleviate the pressure accessing Bumpers Farm.

Swindon Advertiser: Works on the A350Works on the A350 (Image: Trevor Porter)

“This is certainly a positive development, I will now continue to work with Wiltshire Council to ensure that we can use this priority listing to deliver the project as quickly as possible.”

But campaigners have warned dualling the carriageway could cause more congestion.

Earlier this year Dr Helen Stride, who previously led the campaign against the Future Chippenham development scheme, told this paper it would cause “tremendous congestion” beyond the Lackham Roundabout as traffic is funnelled back into a single lane.

Some concerns have also been raised about the impact of the planned roadworks on traffic during construction, and the council admitted that there will “inevitably be some disruption.”

But they added that appropriate and safe traffic management measures will be implemented to reduce the impact on motorists.