An informal consultation has been launched to gain opinion on a potential 24 hours a day road closure during toad migration season for part of Smallbrook Road, Warminster from 14th February to 13th March 2025.
Residents and businesses are being asked whether they would be in favour, against or don’t know to shutting the road from Smallbrook Lane car park to the junction with Upper Marsh Road and Henfords Marsh to all motor vehicles between 14th February and 13th March 2025 – with the consultation set to help understand local opinion before potentially taking the information to the next stage.
The consultation is set to run from Monday 13th November until Monday 18th December and can be accessed here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/LZYTT7/ or paper copies of the survey are available from Warminster Civic Centre.
Warminster’s only major toad population lives in Smallbrook Meadows and toads, which are a threatened species, use the same migration routes back to their breeding ponds every year. Road deaths, along with the loss of breeding ponds, are thought to be having a significant impact on toad populations, which nationally have declined by 68% in the last 30 years. It is estimated that many thousands of lives of toads would be saved by closing the road. A pregnant female toad will lay about 1,500 eggs, so a death means a large loss of tadpoles.
The road closure could cause potential disruption to traffic and if Warminster Town Council were to apply for a temporary road closure for Smallbrook Road it would be liable for the costs. These would include any advertising and legal costs, consultation costs and putting up and maintaining the road closure signs and diversion signs. It is estimated this could cost up to £10,000 per annum.
The decision of whether to proceed with the road closure can only be made by Wiltshire Council and they would balance the case made for the road closure, any opposition or suggested amendments and any other considerations before making a decision. The town council therefore wants to gauge public opinion before taking a potential road closure to the next stage.
An application to close the road would have to be made at least 9 months in advance, so given the likely cost and potential disruption to traffic the town council want to gauge local opinion before carefully considering whether to apply for a road closure.
If support is gained Warminster Town Council would take the potential road closure to the next stage as well as looking at estimates for the costs and the strategies involved.
Location of proposed road closure:
Last modified: 8 December 2023