DRIVERS: Wiltshire's slowest roads to avoid

DRIVERS: Wiltshire's slowest roads to avoid

Published by Mike Draper at 4:00am 14th March 2020.

3 minute read

The stretches of Wiltshire's roads you should steer clear of to avoid getting caught in traffic jams have been revealed in new figures.

The Department for Transport has released its latest statistics on average speeds and delays on the county's major routes.

With the data showing that traffic is becoming more sluggish across the whole of the nation, the RAC says drivers will be frustrated but not surprised.

Interestingly, the A303 between Amesbury and Long Barrow is NOT top of the list.


That's the tedious section of road, taking you through the traffic lights linking Salisbury, Netherhampton and Wilton.

A road sign for the A36 at the Park Wall junction between Salisbury and Wiltson.
The A36 at Park Wall junction between Salisbury and Wilton is the slowest section of road in the area.

According to the figures, drivers in Wiltshire travelled at a mere 38.6 mph on average on part of the A36 northbound between A3094 and A30 (west) in 2019. That's the lowest speed recorded on any section of major road in the area, but a slight increase from the average of 37.0 mph a year earlier.


Other sections of roads in Wiltshire where speeds have been gradually getting slower are:

  • A303 westbound within the A338 Cholderton / Shipton Bellinger junction
  • A303 eastbound between A3028 Bulford and A338
  • A303 westbound between A360 Long Barrow and A36 Wylye

The figures also show that road users faced the longest delay in the same section of road where the lowest speeds were recorded. They were held up on part of this by 27.6 seconds per mile on average, compared to the pace they would have made if travelling at the speed limit.

Wylye junction slip road sign on the A303.
SLOW GOING: The A303 heading west between the A360 at Long Barrow and the A36 for Wylye


The section of the A303 specifically where it passes Stonehnege is hugely notorious for its traffic jams. At times it's reduced to a near standstill, leaving motorists trapped in delays that can last hours.

But despite it's obvious history, this bit of the A303 past the world famous monument is way down the list of 'Wiltshire's slowest roads'. That's down to there being no data available for 2018 and 2019, and only figures for traffic speeds during 2017.

It's unclear whether the lack of data for the last two years is a deliberate move given that plans are progressing to build an A303 road tunnel at Stonehenge.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said:

"Drivers will find it frustrating, but perhaps not surprising, that average speeds on England's major roads are reducing. RAC research shows that in many parts of the country drivers are becoming more, not less dependent on their cars for the journeys they need to make, and it's also the case that the network is now carrying record levels of road traffic."

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