The closure of Rodbourne Road to allow Network Rail to carry out essential work on the railway bridges over the carriageway begins on Monday at 6am for four weeks.
There will be a fully signed approved diversion route in place.
Swindon Borough Council will also open the Penzance Drive and Wootton Bassett Road bus gates to all traffic for a trial period once the initial diversion route has had time to settle down and its impact has been assessed.
The opening of the bus gates was suggested by local residents and ward councillors to reduce the effect of the bridge works on businesses nearby. While traffic studies suggest that this could result in increased levels of congestion on the strategic road network and in particular on Wootton Bassett Road, Mannington roundabout and Great Western Way, this is not known for certain.
The trial will be closely monitored via cameras, live traffic data and staff on the ground, and if the general impact is too severe it will be halted. Drivers are encouraged to use the approved diversion route at all times, which is:
Clockwise from the North side of the Outlet centre:
Kemble Drive to Bruce Street Bridges, Great Western Way to Transfer Bridges roundabout, County Road to Magic Roundabout, Fleming Way (via Princes Street, Gordon Road, Islington Street), Holbrook Way then Faringdon Road to Park Lane roundabout.
Anti-clockwise from the South side of the Outlet centre:
Park Lane to Park Lane roundabout, Faringdon Road via Emlyn Square, Station Road to Transfer Bridges roundabout, Great Western Way to Bruce Street Bridges, Kemble Drive.
Due to the limited number of days in the year when work can be carried out on the railway line, Network Rail’s choices of dates for the bridge repair work were limited to the Christmas or May Day holiday periods, with May being chosen due to the reduced impact on nearby retailers and other businesses.
Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet member for transport and sustainability said: “This essential work by Network Rail needs to happen now to allow the train line to be closed, because the only alternative is a Christmas closure which would be much more disruptive. The traffic impact of opening the bus gate is not 100% known but if it helps local businesses and local residents over the next four weeks, then we must give it a try.”
Jennifer Pearson, Network Rail’s scheme project manager, said: “As part of our £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers we are carrying out work to reconstruct the bridge on Rodbourne Road.
“While we’ve tried to minimise disruption for residents as much as possible, I’d like to thank them in advance for their patience and understanding while we carry out this major improvement work.”
Residents can find out more about the works from the national Network Rail helpline 03457 11 41 41.