Call for relief road for 6,000 houses
A MULTI-million pound relief road is proposed to be built as part of the massive Eastern Villages development to reduce possible future congestion through Covingham and along Oxford Road.
Swindon Council’s final version of the Core Strategy, which sets out the vision for Swindon’s development over the next 15 years, earmarks land to the east of the A419 for three villages totalling between 6,000 and 6,500 homes.
Parish councils and residents in the area have long called for assurances that the appropriate infrastructure will be in place before the homes are built to minimise the impact on existing communities.
Now the full council has backed a motion by councillors Richard Hurley and Dale Heenan (both Con, Covingham and Dorcan) for the Core Strategy to include plans for a link road, which they say should run from Acorn Bridge, on the A420, to either Dorcan Industrial Estate or ideally Commonhead roundabout.
The motion also asks officers to cost up the options, review all of the available funding for the Eastern Villages infrastructure, and open talks with Government to provide any shortfall.
The plan to link to the Dorcan Industrial Estate would require a bridge over the A419.
The White Hart roundabout is still proposed to be re-built at a cost of £22m to cope with the extra traffic, however the relief road would mean that not all traffic from the development would hit the intersection.
Coun Heenan, who is also the cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, said: “The White Hart needs to be re-built anyway.
“Our campaign is about creating a new link road from the A420 down to Commonhead to take traffic from the 6,000 houses and businesses which will come in the future in the Eastern Villages.
“Oxford Road cannot possibly take all that traffic. We don’t want it going down Covingham and we think this is the natural way to do it. We need a new link road.
“We have been doing a campaign in Covingham for the last 12 months around the traffic on Merlin Way and with the local plan being published next month we think this is the right time we started pushing for the link road.”
Brian Osbourn, the chairman of Covingham Parish Council, said: “If that helps Covingham traffic-wise, I would welcome it.
“But I cannot see where they’re going to get the funding from. I don’t think they will get the funding from the Government.
“If they get the funding it would be wonderful. But I can see objections coming from the villages up by Acorn Bridge.”