Is a 21st Century tram network the answer to Swindon's increasingly chronic transport problems? See the link at the bottom of the story.
Thamesdown Transport marked its centenary to the day at the end of September by launching a new phase in its history when the Mayor of Swindon coun Peter Stoddart dug the first sod to level the old Barnfield road dump site to make way for a £4.6 million bus depot.
On completion in July 2005, the company will move out of its Corporation Street HQ where electric trams first provided public transport in the town. Thamesdown Transport managing director John Owen said, "Corporation Street is over 100 years old, built for trams not modern buses, and too small for future needs.
"Traffic in Swindon is forecast to grow at nearly double the national average and if we are to avoid the very damaging economic and environmental effects of gridlock in the future, it is vital we continue to improve services, thus encouraging more people to use the bus instead of their cars.”
The new depot will have space for nearly 140 buses and will house of the company’s servicing, maintenance and administration. The Corporation Streets will be redeveloped as part of the Nwew Swindon Company’s town centre regeneration plans.
• The main image of one of Swindon's first electric trams passing the Milton Road Baths on Faringdon Road featured in an exhibition about the history of Thamesdown Transport at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in Bath Road, Old Town in late 2004 and Spring 2005.