Colin and Jean Goddard from Nine Elms awoke on 30 May to discover some of their preparations for the West Swindon Open Gardens weekend in mid-June destroyed after a car drove over their front garden.
The couple’s bungalow faces the right angle bend at The Elms and they’re now used to vehicles being driven too quickly and often hitting their front wall. But they’re frustrated that both Swindon and Wiltshire councils have been reluctant to do anything about it.
On this occasion the car driver misjudged his speed in the early hours, drove over the foundations of the wall which was awaiting repair after being demolished several weeks previously, before skidding across the front lawn. The driver then backed into a flower bed and bumped over the wall to escape. Luckily he didn’t hit the car parked in the driveway, but a rose pergola was knocked over.
Pictured: Colin and Jean surveying the damage as traffic speeds by
“Our bedroom is at the front of the bungalow facing the road and we heard something outside,” said Colin. “By the time I got up I saw lights of a car leaving and only saw the damage in the morning. It’s disheartening;we’ve got used to the near misses and people hitting the wall.”
The Goddard’s home is in Swindon, but the road running past it is the border with Wiltshire which has highway safety and maintenance responsibility. The back road from Common Platt to Tewkesbury Way has become a rat run to avoid driving through West Swindon.
“We built this bungalow 45 years ago when Nine Elms was just a hamlet between Swindon and Purton; now we’re right on the edge of the town and we experience a huge amount of traffic, most of which is driving too quickly.
“In the past I’ve been in touch with Swindon Council and they pass me onto Wiltshire, but they don’t contact me about anything. I really want to know what will happen when another 700 houses are built at Ridgeway Farm. Maybe the traffic through Washpool will be so heavy it won’t be able to speed like it does now.”
Cllr Nick Martin visited the Goddards in June to be followed by a Swindon Council road engineer who is contacting highway officials at Wiltshire Council.