Chippenham is just four miles south of the M4 motorway giving easy access to London, Bristol and South Wales. The A4 coach road from London provides and alternative route to Bristol via Bath; the A420 and B4069 take you to Bristol and Oxford.
Chippenham is on the mainline rail route from London Paddington to the West Country and is famous for its railway arches and other buildings associated with Isambard Kingdom Brunel when he built the Great Western Railway.
These transport links have a number of effects on the town. It is easy for people to travel out of the town to get to work for instance, but this can result in Chippenham becoming a mere dormitory town for larger towns and cities. On the other hand these links make Chippenham an attractive strategic location for businesses needing good access to both the West and the East.
The railway divides the town in two which results in congestion at critical points. In addition the development of the town over the years has resulted in a road layout which directs a lot of through traffic directly into the centre of the town. Furthermore, while the rail links from East to West are good the service that runs North to South through county linking Swindon and Salisbury is currently very poor. The TransWiltsRail Partnership is currently working to address this
Car parking is another concern. There are many relatively small car parks with poor access under a range of different management and charging regimes. It is also perceived to be expensive in comparison to nearby towns. There is a lack of all day, affordable car parking for town centre workers.
The Vision wants to see a more integrated and accessible transport system in place with better, more effecient linkages between public and private transport, a reduction in traffic bottlenecks, public transport providing a better more attractive service thereby reducing individual car journeys, a better and more rationale parking offer that better meets the differing needs of shoppers, workers and visitors
The Vision has already commissioned a study using the detailed computer traffic model of Chippenham to review some of the town centre traffic movements. This type of study will be used to form the basis of much of our Masterplanning work.