We have witnessed Swindon’s continued expansion since the 1950s and it was often said that we were the fastest growing town in Europe.
In order to support this growth, the Council needs to play a strategic role in managing it, which is why last year we made improving infrastructure and housing a key theme of one of the Council’s main Priorities.
Swindon will continue to grow in the years ahead and many of you will know about our ambitious plans to create thousands of homes at Wichelstowe and the New Eastern Villages.
New homes will mean more jobs and a boost to our economy, but it will also place a strain on our roads and other facilities in the town. In order to cater for this increase in our population we are taking important steps to improve the town centre and, importantly, our roads.
Motorists and residents will have seen the work that has recently been carried out on major roundabouts, in order to cater for additional traffic in future years.
The next infrastructure improvement programme to get underway will be the multi-million pound transformation of Junction 16 of the M4, which is being managed by the Council on behalf of our partners Wiltshire Council, Highways England and the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership. This work is a requirement of the outline planning permission for the Wichelstowe development and needs to be completed before the 1,100th property on the site is occupied.
The roundabout will be altered and slip roads widened in order to cope with future traffic levels, which are expected to increase by as much as 50 per cent in the years to come.
Residents and businesses in West Swindon who would like more information about the project, which is due to start later this summer, can visit two drop-in events. The first of these is taking place at the Lime Kiln Leisure Centre in Royal Wootton Bassett on Wednesday, 29 June between 3pm and 7pm, with a second opportunity at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre at Lydiard Fields on Wednesday, 6 July between 12noon and 7pm.
The Council’s highways project team will be on hand to answer any questions and there is further information and diagrams on what the redesigned junction will look like on our website: www.swindon.gov.uk/junction16 I would encourage you take a look.
Whenever we make improvements to key junctions there is always an impact on motorists, and while the inevitable cliché of short-term pain for long-term gain rings true, we want to ensure one of the fastest growing towns doesn’t grind to a halt.
You can receive the latest updates from the Junction 16 upgrade by subscribing to our Highways News newsletter – www.swindon.gov.uk/highwaysnews