A report will be presented to Swindon Council’s cabinet in October presenting options on building the long awaited road link between Thamesdown Drive and Great Western Way.
Options and costings on whether the extension should continue as a dual carriageway from Purton Road to Great Western Way, or whether traffic will be forced to filter into a single carriageway, will be considered.
The 1.5 mile road has been estimated to cost up to £100 million. The council is spending £60,000 on the feasibility study to go before the cabinet which will set out the case for a bid to the government for £2 million to undertake the detailed design and costing.
Pictured: Keith Williams with the plan of possible housing and the Swindon road network shown to the Chancellor in July.
Over the last 15 years Mead Way through West Swindon has become the town’s western by-pass, ever more clogged with traffic as North Swindon housing has been built.
The problem of inadequate roads and the need to provide better access to Cheney Manor Industrial Estate was discussed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer by Robert Buckland MP and Justin Tomlinson MP when he visited the town in July.
At the meeting Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon cabinet member for highways strategic transport and leisure, explained the pressing need to complete the 1990s plan to link the A419 with Great Western Way.
The Chancellor told Swindon Link: “I can’t make a commitment at this point, but hearing that Swindon does not have a ring road and that the town’s economic prospects could be held back without the right infrastructure in place suggests there is a good case to be made for this kind of smart investment.”
But to secure the major allocation of capital funds, the price to be paid will be the loss of green fields in north Wiltshire. In speeches across the country the Chancellor has made it clear that he wants to see hundreds of thousands of houses to be built to meet the demand of an increasing population and as the way of driving the economy into growth.
The pressure on existing infrastructure plus a Thamesdown Drive link road will be immense.
The 10,000 homes across North Swindon, started in 1994, are almost complete. The area is to be extended by another 1,695 houses at Tadpole Farm in North Swindon.
West Swindon is to be extended by Taylor Wimpey into Wiltshire by 700 houses at Ridgeway Farm.
Right, Mead Way at Sparcells, close to the Ridgeway Farm development site, already massively congested before more housing is built
Building companies are champing at the bit to build on the green field land they have options on to the north and west of Swindon – even though the sites have not been identified in Wiltshire’s planning core strategy.
The 2009 plan for 2,000 homes at Pry Farm to the north of Ridgeway Farm, (west of Oakhurst), has been revived and it is possible that developers could propose with an even larger number of houses, the gap between Swindon and Purton, and even Cricklade, is under threat.
Securing planning permission on land development has become easier for house builders, but the big questions are: will government come up with the money for a relief road, and will it be possible to call it a relief road?