As a fellow Winterbourne Stoke Parish Council member, and in the interests of transparency, I felt it only right to offer my personal views on the Winterbourne Stoke bypass consultation. As a member of the council, I feel that it is useful to offer my opinion as a resident.
First and foremost, I’m in favour of a bypass and am looking forward to it going ahead but, importantly, it has to be the right scheme for the village, and where there have to be compromises, (as invariably there will be), we work together as a community to achieve the best outcome for the village and the immediate area, whilst also pushing to mitigate, as best we can, those issues that will be thrown up by both / either scheme.
However, as to which scheme I prefer, I have a bit of a dilemma. As mentioned in one of Andy’s recent posts, unfortunately, I’m one of those struggling with the rationalisation as to which scheme offers the best solution – even more so now having just completed a “door stepping” exercise where I heard very compelling points made for / against either scheme by some of the parishioners which were, in most cases, very passionate and well argued. Initially, I was favouring the Northern scheme in spite of living at the Northern end of the village. This was mainly due to my dislike for the envisaged detrimental impact of the Southern route on the landscape, wildlife, recreational usage and the physical segregation of the Winterbourne Stoke and Berwick communities.
However, since then, having spoken with more people and read more information, (posted on this forum amongst other sources), I have to admit that I am now in a bit of a quandary as to which scheme I prefer?
Also, it all depends on which “hat” I am wearing at the time – as a resident, (living at the North end of the village), for the village of Winterbourne Stoke as a whole, as a taxpayer and finally, as a user of the A303 itself. I for one am looking forward to the upcoming village meeting on the subject of the A303 where I will be keen to hear more balanced views and opinions from fellow parishioners that may help me come to my own conclusion as to my preferred route.
That aside, like many people, my main concerns, irrespective of the chosen scheme, are many and relate to, (in no particular order), the potential detrimental impacts upon the ecology, wildlife, environment, noise, pollution, segregation of our communities and impacts to local businesses. I have questions for HE regarding the measures / mitigations they have considered / can offer including those for noise reducing surfaces, reducing the visual impact of any above ground works, (via ducts etc.), but I know that these are not readily forthcoming and this is where I believe we as a community can have an impact and influence on the scheme that we will eventually receive.