Work to give shoppers more space to park their cars in Swindon town centre has begun in earnest.
The disused area of gravel opposite the Wyvern Theatre is currently being turned into a temporary car park to increase capacity in the town centre and to help facilitate the Council’s regeneration plans for a new bus boulevard along Fleming Way.
The new temporary car park, to be known as the Wyvern Car Park, is expected to be completed in December and will bring 53 extra car parking spaces to the town centre – 12 of which will be disabled bays. There will also be space for motorbikes to park.
It is expected that the Princes Street Car Park will be transformed into a temporary bus facility while the Fleming Way boulevard is being regenerated. Work is anticipated to start on the Princes Street Car Park in autumn 2019. The displaced parking from this site can then find space in the new Wyvern Car Park.
Regenerating Fleming Way to include a new bus boulevard, a key public transport interchange which will facilitate the delivery of Kimmerfields, is one of the Council’s main Pledges (Pledge 3) and a key part of the ambitious plans for the town centre. Work is estimated to start on the new bus boulevard in early 2021.
In the meantime, turning the Wyvern Car Park into a usable space will see this derelict brownfield site brought back into use for town centre shoppers.
Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, said: “"This site is an eyesore and local residents want to see visible progress on town centre regeneration.
“Bringing forward work for the temporary bus station means that this car park can be made available before Christmas for motorists, motorcyclists and blue badge holders.
“With construction work due to start in March for the Snowdome at North Star, July being the start of the Kimmerfields building work and December signalling the new 45min train timetable to Paddington, now is the time to think creatively to transform the town centre into a more attractive place in which to live, work and invest."
Work to install the Wyvern Car Park is being funded through the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.