Chippenham Market Place now closed to vehicles

Wiltshire Council and Chippenham Town Council are working in partnership to enforce existing traffic restrictions at the town’s Market Place to help keep pedestrians safe.

The Market Place already has a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in place to prevent all motor vehicles from entering; however, some people have been taking advantage of a gap in the barrier to access the area and park their cars.

To support the TRO and enable pedestrians to move freely and safely around the Market Place, Chippenham Town Council is reinstalling the original gated entrance to make the area inaccessible for motor vehicles – though the gate can be opened to allow access for events and emergencies.

Wiltshire Council is also installing extra signage to inform motorists that there is no entry to the Market Place.

Cllr Caroline Thomas, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “There have been several reports of vehicles nearly hitting pedestrians in Chippenham’s Market Place and that’s why, in partnership with Chippenham Town Council, we are taking this action to keep pedestrians safe to enjoy the town centre.

“Some people may not have been aware that there has been a Traffic Regulation Order in place that prevents vehicles from entering the Market Place for many years, and so the moving of barriers and installation of signage to prevent vehicular access is just a formalisation of that legal order.

“We hope that this positive change will make visiting Chippenham town centre a safer and more pleasant experience for all pedestrians.”

Delivery access to businesses in the Market Place will continue to be available; however, delivery drivers will be expected to open and close the gate on these occasions. There are plenty of places to park nearby for motorists that have previously parked at the Market Place.

Cllr Pete Cousins, Leader, Chippenham Town Council, said: “We have witnessed many situations in Market Place where the public have been put at risk by motorists driving in and out of the area. We hope that by reinstalling the original gate and raising awareness of the existing restrictions, the Market Place will become a much safer space for pedestrians.”