Categories: Transport Assessment, Travel Plan, Junction Design
Client: Longleat Enterprises Ltd
Project Date: 2016 - Ongoing
Contact: Roger Key
Location: Tascroft, Warminster, Wiltshire
Key Transport has worked on several projects for Longleat Estates in recent years. The most recent is a Hotel Resort, including a 240 bedroom hotel, 200 delegate function facilities and a water park located at Tascroft, just west of the A36 (T) Warminster Bypass and 3km from the main entrance to Longleat House and Safari Park. The development is intended to complement the existing family attractions at Longleat and to appeal to families travelling to Longleat from home locations over two hours’ drive away, enabling them to stay longer to enjoy both Longleat and the surrounding Wiltshire area. The proposal includes a unique animal attraction, which would bring many of Longleat’s animals onto the site to enable hotel and conference guests to engage with them in a manner that is currently only available to VIPs at Longleat.
Access to the site is to be provided via a local road, Folly lane. An improvement to the junction of Folly Lane with the A362 Warminster to Frome road was proposed. The A362 carries heavy seasonal flows of tourist traffic, including visitors to Longleat itself, to Center Parcs’ Longleat holiday village and other regional tourist destinations.
Quantifying the traffic impact for the development was challenging, first because Highways England, who manage the Trunk Road, required all analysis to be evidence based - producing evidence for a unique development with no contemporaries in the United Kingdom was not easy. Secondly, the analysis was made more complicated by having to account for the traffic that is predicted to be generated on the local road network in the next 10 years by construction of up to 1600 new homes to the north and west of Warminster.
After discussions with Highways England and Wiltshire Council Highways on the method of analysis, the results showed the site access junction and nearby A362 Picket Post roundabout would cope satisfactorily with predicted traffic flows but modest improvement of two approaches to the adjacent A36(T)/A362 Cley Hill roundabout would be needed to mitigate the combined impact of all proposed development. Proposals were also put forward to improve a local bridleway primarily to cater for staff travelling on foot and bicycle from Warminster.