Since the original article appeared below and in Swindon Link magazine, Abbey Meads ward councillor Justin Tomlinson has been inundated by residents of Redhouse angry that the nearest access point to their homes could be shut off.
He has secured agreement from Swindon Council’s Director of Environment that no work is carried out to implement the proposal until residents have heard the reasons for closing Junction 6a and have had a chance to oppose the idea.
A public meeting has been called for Monday 4th December, at Bridlewood Primay School, Chartwell Road, Redhouse – subject to confirmation.
From December, Junction 6A on Thamesdown Drive, opposite the North Swindon District Centre is going to become a bus only route – as originally envisaged in the Priory Vale master plan agreed between the North Swindon Development Company and Swindon Borough Council in the 1990s.
At the same time Lady Lane is going to be closed at Ash Brake, which means the current three points of access to the eastern part of Redhouse will be reduced to one. All traffic will come off at Junction 7 and travel along Eastbury Way.
Many residents are not going to be pleased by the long and tortuous route home, nor the increased amount of traffic on Eastbury Way and roads to Bridlewood Primary School.
Nicola Norridge, mum of two boys at Bridlewood, who lives at Fenton Avenue, just yards from Junction 6A is not impressed. "This is an appalling decision which we were not told about when we bought our house two years ago. If we’d known about it, we certainly would not have moved there.
"Not only will this devalue the property, Eastbury Way, pictured below, is going to become a lot more dangerous because of all the traffic coming off Thamesdown Drive. We’ve never experienced a problem with the junction 6A slip road; I can’t see the logic in closing it. All the council have to do is adjust the traffic light timings."
Mike Christmas from the North Swindon Development Company explained that the change would improve road safety. He said that the filter lane at Junction 6A was designed to accommodate a couple of small buses. "If more than four or five cars wait in the right turn filter lane, it’s possible the last one might stick out into the outside lane of Thamesdown Drive."
Swindon Council traffic engineers fear a serious accident at busy times involving through traffic if there are vehicles queuing to turn right into Redhouse, when there is also a queue on the left, trying to get into the North Swindon District Centre.
Councillor Justin Tomlinson said he and fellow ward councillor Peter Stoddart were alarmed by the proposal. "We recognise the concerns of the highways engineers, but we will be seeking the views of residents urgently and calling a public meeting if necessary.
"The majority of the complaints we deal with are from residents who were not told the truth by developers before they bought their property. The Junction 6A closure only shows up on the more expensive legal searches, so the majority of people will be blissfully ignorant of the original plan.
"Unfortuntately developers only tell half the story; I expect a lot of people are going to contact us when they read this."
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