Funding to end rat-run danger
9:30am Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
A SCHEME to tackle the “20-year-old problem” of speeding motorists cutting along Lansdown Road looks likely to finally go ahead after being allocated full funding by Swindon Council.
The residential road is parallel to Bath Road, which can be congested in rush hours, and so motorists try to save time by using it as a rat-run.
The road is also a popular route for children going to King William Street Primary School and residents have raised concerns over safety.
Earlier this year, ward councillors surveyed all 100 households in the road, with 95 per cent saying there was a speed problem, and asked them for ideas for road schemes to curb the problem.
Councillors held a public meeting at the Ashford Road Club, where the schemes were costed and presented to residents. This resulted in householders reaching a consensus on a £10,000 scheme for two speed tables and a 20mph zone in the road.
Now the central locality, comprised of ward councillors from Eastcott and central have allocated it full funding from a £25,000 highways budget, which was devolved to each locality. Another £10,000 is earmarked for the central ward, while the remainder is planned to be used for smaller highways works across the area.
Coun Dave Wood (Lib Dem, Eastcott) said: “I think it’s great news and certainly this issue is one that has been rolling on for 20 years and the council hasn’t been able to find a solution for it.
“When the locality highways funding was first suggested, my immediate reaction was this was the kind of scheme that would benefit from locality funding and it turned out to be absolutely the case.
“I’m very happy about it and the people from Lansdown Road are pleased that the council will be able to deliver something that’s been a priority for the community for 20 years, and they’ve never been able to allocate the money for it before.”
Coun Wood said officers would draw up a detailed scheme and take it out to a formal public consultation. Once finally approved, he hoped work would begin before Christmas.
Joanne Hyde, a grandmother-of-six who has lived in Lansdown Road for 22 years, said she wanted to thank ward councillors and police for their support in securing cash for a scheme that could save lives.
She said: “It’s a victory. I’m absolutely overjoyed with it because on school days you just don’t have peace of mind.
“Everybody is glad that something is being done. Everyone I have spoken to has said they didn’t actually think it was going to be successful.
“I think most people had given up because this issue has been going on for about 20 years.”