An update from Head of Highways and Transport

Dear resident,

Following the Prime Minister’s address, I wanted to update you on the latest Government travel guidance and how we are continuing to deliver our transport improvement schemes.

The latest guidance states you should only travel if your journey is necessary. This particularly applies to people who cannot work from home. If you can, try cycling or walking - there are over seven miles of segregated cycle routes across the Borough so please use them where you can. If you need to use public transport, please plan your journeys well in advance and allow extra time for your journey. We are working closely with public transport operators to ensure social distancing measures are followed. You can read the full government advice on travelling safely here.

You may also be aware that we have re-opened a number of car parks in our country parks to allow residents to spend more time outdoors, in line with the latest government guidance. While there are no restrictions on how far you can travel, please try to stay local as much as possible, keeping two metres away from people outside your household.

Resources in my team have and will continue to be focused on essential maintenance work including responding to your reports of potholes and broken streetlights as well as delivering major transport schemes, where possible.

Sam Howell,

Head of Highways and Transport

The next phase of work began today (18 May) to build a new access road into Wichelstowe underneath the M4 motorway. The Wichelstowe Southern Access road will help support 4,500 new homes, the new district centre and will also unlock 12.5 hectares of employment land, supporting around 2,000 new jobs. 

In order to facilitate the new underpass, both carriageways of the motorway will be moved onto newly-created embankments over the coming weeks.

The M4 motorway will be closed overnight only tonight (18 May) until 20 May between junctions 15 and 16 to allow the necessary traffic management to be put in. From tomorrow (19 May), the speed cameras previously installed on the M4 will be switched on and a 50mph speed limit will be in operation for a 2km stretch. The speed restrictions will remain in place for approximately 10 months.

 If you would like to know more about how the underpass will be built, you can find a video on our website, alongside our Frequently Asked Questions.

Find out more about the Wichelstowe Southern Access Road

The £4m improvements to Mead Way are continuing during the lockdown period.

The drainage work has progressed to the area around the Westmead junction, where wildlife friendly kerbs are being installed. These specialist kerbs are being installed at the request of Natural England in order to protect species such as the Great Crested Newt and provide a small ledge for them to walk along.

The kerbs have also been removed on Stonehill Green to allow the road to be widened on the approach to the signalised junction. Removal of the existing street lights began last week and new light columns will be installed in the coming weeks.

Please remember this is a live construction site and fenced off for your safety. Please do not enter the site under any circumstances and follow the signed diversion route.

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Over the next couple of weeks, we will be completing some minor roadworks in the area around the Nythe Road/Oxford Road junction, and Piccadilly roundabout (by The Messenger pub). We won’t need to close any roads, we’ll just be working on the grass verges and footpaths.

It’s all part of the initial preparatory work ahead of the major road improvements connected to the New Eastern Villages development.

Work started last Monday (11 May) and will take a couple of weeks to complete. No work will be carried out on weekends.

The workforce will be adhering to the Government’s social distancing guidelines throughout.

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Lots of people are using their daily exercise as an opportunity to get out on their bikes. Here’s a few tips:

  • If you’re getting your bike out of the garage after a while, here’s a handy guide on basic bike maintenance to make sure it’s safe to use
  • The Swindon Travel Choices website is full of walking maps and cycling routes to help you get out and explore your local area
  • When cycling on shared paths, please make sure you stay in single file, take extra care and slow down as there might be others out and about including children and dogs

When outside, make sure you’re following government advice and following social distancing measures. 

From Wednesday (20 May) the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) will partially re-open for pre-booked, essential visits only. The trial online booking system will be live for bookings from 9am tomorrow (19 May).

A number of restrictions will be in place which have been carefully designed to keep you and our staff safe, reduce the build up of traffic in the local area and ensure that we can continue to run our other vital services that operate from the site.

Access to the HWRC will be from Rodbourne Road (Esso Garage) only. There will be no access to the site from Akers Way. A diversion route will be clearly signposted.

Find out more information here

Road Safety toolkits

If you're looking for educational ideas to keep the kids occupied, our partners at Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have produced a number of home schooling Road Safety modules aimed at KS3, KS4 and KS5. 

Take a look at the Road Safety modules
Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)

Prior to COVID-19, the process for advertising and promoting Traffic Regulation Orders involved displaying a public notice on the street affected. Due to government guidelines this cannot be carried out. Full details of the proposals are now available on our website and comments can be submitted via online consultation forms.

Proposed changes to parking restrictions on Station Road

Proposed prohibition of motor vehicles on Day House Lane

Proposed introduction of no waiting at any time on Cricklade Road

Roadworks

High Street, Wroughton

From 21-26 May, Four way traffic lights will be in operation while Virgin Media install a new service provider.

Kingsdown Road

From 26 May-23 June, Two-way traffic lights will be in operation while High Voltage Systems & Services (HVSS) lay new electricity cables.

You can also take a look at our interactive map which provides details of all roadworks across the borough, and indicates which agencies are carrying out the work.

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