Castle Mead, Trowbridge

Castle Mead is one of a series of greenfield developments on the edge of Trowbridge, the county town of Wiltshire. The development is in the form of an urban extension of some 600 homes, taking over a decade to build. Local campaigning for traffic calming and a pedestrian crossing began when it was realised that plan was to use the distributor road bisecting the estate as a bypass for Trowbridge and a lorry route.

The development lies near ancient woodland, a Wildlife Trust reserve, and a site home to various rare species of bat with European Protection. The next in the sequence of developments – the Ashton Park urban extension, which finances major road construction, has faced a complex and expensive programme of mitigation of wildlife impact.

Bus links to Castle Mead are minimal, with very few buses from the town centre actually entering the estate. There has also been little effort to make it easy to walk or cycle around the area. To reach the closest shopping parade in the neighbouring Paxcroft Mead estate, residents are supposed to follow a path across a green area of undeveloped land, but people have told us they feel unsafe using this path, and are forced instead to walk along the main distributor road. This road was not designed to be used by pedestrians or cyclists and doesn’t even have a pavement.

The houses within parts of Castle Mead can appear tightly packed together with lots of brick and tarmac and little green space between them. The estate gives the impression that its location and design have been chosen in order to enable the construction of the new distributor road, while walkability and public transport links leave much to be desired.

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