Letter: Salisbury wants less congestion and if that means a bypass, then we must have it

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As A long-suffering resident living on the A36, I can assure you that the Salisbury bypass is very much wanted by local people ("Do we really need a dual carriageway here?", 14 July).

The argument that most traffic jams are due to local traffic is true but irrelevant - the same congestion problems are encountered in any town and can only be addressed by a more pro-active national transport policy. What must be discussed is whether the socio-economic benefits justify the financial cost and environmental impact.

Although the bypass will re-route traffic rather than spirit away congestion, this is in itself enough of a benefit. But there will also be fewer vehicles that treat the road as a trunk road and thus fewer which speed in a residential area. We will also be rid of the heavy traffic that thunders through the city all day and night. The bypass may well have an environmental impact. However, it will only cut through farmland and not the water meadows made famous by Constable's painting. Indeed, if your photographer had turned the other way he would have had a shot of the city's sewage works. It is questionable whether this view needs to be preserved.

Rosalind Chaloner

Salisbury, Wiltshire