If you’ve been stuck unexpectedly in a traffic jam heading into work the chances are your journey will form one of your first topics of conversation when you get into the office.
“My journey in to work was terrible” or “Did you see the traffic today?” are couple of comments I have heard in the past and the frustration is understandable as there is nothing worse than being stuck in a queue of slow moving traffic.
The Council’s highways team works hard behind the scenes to ensure that work carried out by utilities companies does not clash with other projects, but sometimes delays are unavoidable, particularly when major highway improvement schemes are underway.
Swindon’s continued growth means that an increasing number of vehicles are using our road network and, as such, we need to keep pace with the levels of traffic using our roads. If we did nothing our roads would be completely clogged up with traffic in the years to come.
We are currently making improvements to Greenbridge roundabout before the New Eastern Villages are built, while in a couple of months’ time we will also be overseeing a transformation of Junction 16 of the M4, which is another key highways upgrade to keep pace with the housing growth at nearby Wichelstowe.
The resurfacing of Akers Way is also due to start in a few weeks and although motorists who use this stretch of road will agree that the carriageway is in desperate need of repair, delays and diversions are inevitable. We have scheduled this for the school holidays to minimise these disruptions.
In order to keep residents and motorists up to date with the progress of these projects and other roadworks in the borough, the Council is producing a new email newsletter with the very latest information on the works that affect them.
My cabinet colleague Dale Heenan is keen to champion this new way of communicating with road users and residents to not only keep them informed, but to help drivers plan their journeys, particularly while these improvements are being carried out.
There will also be the chance for residents to report any issues on the highway network to the Council’s highways team. The second edition, which will be out this week, will feature the official opening of the new Southern Flyer pedestrian-cycle route as well as an update on the work being carried out at Greenbridge roundabout.
So if you haven’t done so already I would encourage you to sign up Highways News so you too get up to speed with the many improvements being made to alleviate those traffic jams you may have been stuck in this morning – www.swindon.gov.uk/highwaysnews