Congestion fears over revamp of M4

This Is Wiltshire: From left, Mollie Groom, Tom Pepperall, Avril Roe and John Bennett who are opposing Wiltshire County Council’s proposals to overhaul the M4 Junction 16 area From left, Mollie Groom, Tom Pepperall, Avril Roe and John Bennett who are opposing Wiltshire County Council’s proposals to overhaul the M4 Junction 16 area

AN £8m revamp of Junction 16 on the M4 which could severely increase congestion on feeder roads may be pushed ahead without any public consultation, a rural lobby group fears.

Plans to overhaul the busy junction to smooth the flow of traffic have been in negotiations since 1999, but local councillors have been joined by the Campaign For The Protection Of Rural England in calling for full scrutiny of the latest proposals.

The Highways Agency plans to widen the Swindon Road and Hay Lane junctions, widen slip roads to four lanes, and create a new right turn to Swindon on Hay Lane.

Wiltshire Council has said the application should be looked at in isolation, and issues arising from nearby housing estates should be addressed by individual developers.

But Charmain Spickernell, of the CPRE said the public should have the chance to comment on any proposals.

“It is rather strange there is not going to be any public consultation on this key development,” she said.

“Consultants in the past have said that if you increase the traffic flow around that junction it will cause severe congestion on the feeder roads, particularly around Wootton Bassett and Wroughton.”

A list of 10 potential major transport schemes were approved by Wiltshire Council last year, to be whittled down to find the best option, including upgrading Junction 16.

“There are some real safety issues around Junction 16,” Charmain said. “We had transport consultants looking at it and they said the lanes are so narrow there would not be room for lorries to manoeuvre around the bends.

“Under the recent proposals people would be coming quite fast off the motorway with others coming on their offside through traffic lights. That is not at all safe.” Mollie Groom, the Wiltshire councillor for Royal Wootton Bassett, said the impact of new housing developments would cause a significant build up of traffic in the area, and should be taken into consideration.

“In this area we are becoming increasingly concerned regarding transport rat-runs through our villages,” she said.

“According to Halcrow increasing the flow at Junction 16 will lead to severe congestion on local roads.” A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “We have looked into the improvements and the changes will not have negative effects on the environment so the development does not require an Environmental Impact Assessment.”

Comments (12)

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7:20am Wed 26 Mar 14

umpcah says...

One thing is certain and that is that Junction 16 needs to be sorted. It`s a nightmare i.m.o.
One thing is certain and that is that Junction 16 needs to be sorted. It`s a nightmare i.m.o. umpcah
  • Score: 14

8:04am Wed 26 Mar 14

John~R says...

Build a flyover over the top to take the A3102 traffic. In fact a relatively cheap single lane bridge for light vehicles only (northbound in morning, southbound in afternoon) would probably free up the existing roundabout.

However, such a cost effective solution is probably too innovative for the UK so the preference is to put down more tarmac to provide extra space for the queuing vehicles.
Build a flyover over the top to take the A3102 traffic. In fact a relatively cheap single lane bridge for light vehicles only (northbound in morning, southbound in afternoon) would probably free up the existing roundabout. However, such a cost effective solution is probably too innovative for the UK so the preference is to put down more tarmac to provide extra space for the queuing vehicles. John~R
  • Score: 8

8:45am Wed 26 Mar 14

PaulD says...

I use this junction every day and I never think it's that bad. The only problem I ever see is traffic in the Westbound M4 lane suddenly switching to the Swindon lane without warning. If the lanes were redesigned to prevent that then all would be OK IMO

Also - another classic arms folded, reactolight wearing, grumpy looking bunch of pensioners in the photo. Good work, Adver.
I use this junction every day and I never think it's that bad. The only problem I ever see is traffic in the Westbound M4 lane suddenly switching to the Swindon lane without warning. If the lanes were redesigned to prevent that then all would be OK IMO Also - another classic arms folded, reactolight wearing, grumpy looking bunch of pensioners in the photo. Good work, Adver. PaulD
  • Score: 15

8:45am Wed 26 Mar 14

Always Grumpy says...

Long overdue work needed here, but, make sure ALL the lanes are properly and clearly marked and none of this nonsense of two lanes suddenly becoming one etc.
Long overdue work needed here, but, make sure ALL the lanes are properly and clearly marked and none of this nonsense of two lanes suddenly becoming one etc. Always Grumpy
  • Score: 14

11:43am Wed 26 Mar 14

NorthernWarrior says...

Agree with PaulD, coming off the section between A3102 and M4 westbound, you always get someone who thinks Lane 2 is for continuing around the roundabout towards Swindon whereas it is for M4 only. Better signing and marking needed, maybe a solid white line dividing the lanes would make it more obvious.

At the other side, heading towards Hay Lane from Swindon can be hazardous as coming off the A3102 you are the meat in the sandwich of three lanes barely wide enough for a car, particularly swinging on to the roundabout.
Agree with PaulD, coming off the section between A3102 and M4 westbound, you always get someone who thinks Lane 2 is for continuing around the roundabout towards Swindon whereas it is for M4 only. Better signing and marking needed, maybe a solid white line dividing the lanes would make it more obvious. At the other side, heading towards Hay Lane from Swindon can be hazardous as coming off the A3102 you are the meat in the sandwich of three lanes barely wide enough for a car, particularly swinging on to the roundabout. NorthernWarrior
  • Score: 5

12:52pm Wed 26 Mar 14

dukeofM4 says...

How about something a little more radical. Build a proper orbital motorway around the top of Swindon and add an additional junctions beyond J16, one in the middle, and another before J15. Also upgrade the A420 to a dual carriageway all the way to Oxford. Anything less is trying to sort out the problem 'on the cheap' and doesn't really sort the problem. Other countries build the roads before the development takes place. In this country we wait for the traffic to become such a problem then we act when there is no other choice.
How about something a little more radical. Build a proper orbital motorway around the top of Swindon and add an additional junctions beyond J16, one in the middle, and another before J15. Also upgrade the A420 to a dual carriageway all the way to Oxford. Anything less is trying to sort out the problem 'on the cheap' and doesn't really sort the problem. Other countries build the roads before the development takes place. In this country we wait for the traffic to become such a problem then we act when there is no other choice. dukeofM4
  • Score: 12

1:43pm Wed 26 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

Always Grumpy wrote:
Long overdue work needed here, but, make sure ALL the lanes are properly and clearly marked and none of this nonsense of two lanes suddenly becoming one etc.
It doesn't matter how well it is laid out or marked, you will still get the neanderthal's who jump lanes or cut in just to get to their destination 2 seconds quicker. I have to agree with others and say I have never had a problem at that junction but then i don't use it at the rush hour.
[quote][p][bold]Always Grumpy[/bold] wrote: Long overdue work needed here, but, make sure ALL the lanes are properly and clearly marked and none of this nonsense of two lanes suddenly becoming one etc.[/p][/quote]It doesn't matter how well it is laid out or marked, you will still get the neanderthal's who jump lanes or cut in just to get to their destination 2 seconds quicker. I have to agree with others and say I have never had a problem at that junction but then i don't use it at the rush hour. house on the hill
  • Score: 0

11:19pm Wed 26 Mar 14

therock4u says...

Just wondering where all the housing is???

Also going from Wroughton to RWB at J16 is a nightmare, with cars in wrong lanes. Sometimes you can't turn left io RWB as cars are blocking your exit, waiting to get on the M4 westbound.
Just wondering where all the housing is??? Also going from Wroughton to RWB at J16 is a nightmare, with cars in wrong lanes. Sometimes you can't turn left io RWB as cars are blocking your exit, waiting to get on the M4 westbound. therock4u
  • Score: -1

9:37am Thu 27 Mar 14

umpcah says...

therock4u wrote:
Just wondering where all the housing is???

Also going from Wroughton to RWB at J16 is a nightmare, with cars in wrong lanes. Sometimes you can't turn left io RWB as cars are blocking your exit, waiting to get on the M4 westbound.
It does seem that it`s the Southern side which is a problem especially for drivers who are unfamiliar with this junction. Hopefully the spending of £8m will see improvements as I , for one , dread using this junction more than any other one in the Swindon area !
[quote][p][bold]therock4u[/bold] wrote: Just wondering where all the housing is??? Also going from Wroughton to RWB at J16 is a nightmare, with cars in wrong lanes. Sometimes you can't turn left io RWB as cars are blocking your exit, waiting to get on the M4 westbound.[/p][/quote]It does seem that it`s the Southern side which is a problem especially for drivers who are unfamiliar with this junction. Hopefully the spending of £8m will see improvements as I , for one , dread using this junction more than any other one in the Swindon area ! umpcah
  • Score: 0

11:26am Thu 27 Mar 14

Just_my_point_of_view says...

This junction is a nightmare. In the evenings cars from Swindon cut the queue by using the Wroughton Only lane, then cutting across to go to RWB or, even worse, the M4 Westbound. I've had so many near misses there.

A lane allowing traffic from RWB to bypass the roundabout to access Hay Lane would be a brilliant start, there's examples of this up and down the motorway network. Ideally the bridges should be demolished and replaced with 4 lane bridges, similar to what they've done at Reading junction 11. Increase capacity of the roundabout, not just the feeder lanes!
This junction is a nightmare. In the evenings cars from Swindon cut the queue by using the Wroughton Only lane, then cutting across to go to RWB or, even worse, the M4 Westbound. I've had so many near misses there. A lane allowing traffic from RWB to bypass the roundabout to access Hay Lane would be a brilliant start, there's examples of this up and down the motorway network. Ideally the bridges should be demolished and replaced with 4 lane bridges, similar to what they've done at Reading junction 11. Increase capacity of the roundabout, not just the feeder lanes! Just_my_point_of_view
  • Score: 2

3:55pm Thu 27 Mar 14

villageoldman says...

Stop building houses till there is a proper road network and not some half ar?&ed idea that an overpaid consultant has dreamed up . Traffic jams cause pollution , money , and time wasted.
Stop building houses till there is a proper road network and not some half ar?&ed idea that an overpaid consultant has dreamed up . Traffic jams cause pollution , money , and time wasted. villageoldman
  • Score: 0

5:51pm Thu 27 Mar 14

umpcah says...

villageoldman wrote:
Stop building houses till there is a proper road network and not some half ar?&ed idea that an overpaid consultant has dreamed up . Traffic jams cause pollution , money , and time wasted.
Stop building houses ? Not a chance I`m afraid !
[quote][p][bold]villageoldman[/bold] wrote: Stop building houses till there is a proper road network and not some half ar?&ed idea that an overpaid consultant has dreamed up . Traffic jams cause pollution , money , and time wasted.[/p][/quote]Stop building houses ? Not a chance I`m afraid ! umpcah
  • Score: 0

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