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Bath and A36/46 link


A36-A46 link east of Bath: Department of Transport proposals for a viaduct across the flood plain of the Bristol Avon in the landscape setting of the city of Bath (World Heritage Site) were rejected in 1992. In its decision letter the government accepted the recommendations of the inspector at a local planning inquiry and summarised his conclusions:  ‘… he concluded emphatically and without any reservation against the case for the A36 Link, considering it to be unimpressive in trunk road terms, prejudicial in some important respects, intolerable in its landscape impact and devastating to recreational amenity (13.128).’


The thirty years since the road was scrapped have brought a stream of proposals for reviving the link, even though it would do little to relieve congestion caused by the city’s E-W traffic . 


An 18 tonne weight limit imposed on the A36 Cleveland bridge was justified by the need to repair the bridge and reduce traffic pollution.  It is believed that BANES would like to make the limit permanent. The weight limit remains. 


Wiltshire Council lodged a formal objection to the plan in December 2021.  Cllr Clewer, leader of the council, wrote to BANES, citing Defra guidance on clean air zones:  ‘I can confirm that Wiltshire Council will formally oppose any proposal that results in the displacement of the most polluting surrounding areas'.


On 23 August 2022 the M4-DC study team told campaigners: ‘A new link road will be one of the possible interventions that is being considered as part of the study to understand costs, deliverability, impacts, and benefits.’


Rail: Bath Spa is on the main line from London to Bristol and the West Country and on the Cardiff to Portsmouth line serving the commuter towns of west Wiltshire. 


A36-46 link Looking across community orchard, where link would have been built.jpg

Community orchard on the route of the link road

Looking over the Community Orchard on the route of the link road. Photo: Kathy Jordan

Bath A36-46 link - viaduct would have crossed Kennett & Avoncanal near here.jpg

The A36-46 link would have gone over the Kennet and Avon canal and the Bristol Avon at this point. Photo: Kathy Jordan

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