Motorists stung by a trio of roadworks
DRIVERS in the town are being frustrated as a host of roadworks have been causing havoc during rush hour.
Two major routes through the town, Cricklade Road and Devizes Road, have been shut for maintenance works, while the M4 between Chippenham and Swindon has been reduced to two lanes while work to improve safety features is carried out.
Devizes Road, in Old Town, was closed to traffic yesterday while Swindon Commercial Services set about resurfacing the section between Wood Street and Britannia Street, while on Cricklade Road the maintenance and resurfacing works had begun from the crossroads with Ferndale Road to just past the junction of Edinburgh Street.
One driver, who asked not to be named, said: “It was a nightmare trying to get into Old Town during the morning rush hour as traffic was blocked up both ways on Drove Road. They never time these things very well.”
Traders were also upset after a week of living with the works on Cricklade Road.
The manager of Furniture Trade Direct, who did not want to be named, said: “We’ve been trading here for 13 years and last week was the worst week we’ve ever had.
“In my view they haven’t even solved the real problem, which is the crossroads signals and the narrowing of the road.”
In previous statements, a Swindon Council spokesman said: “Advance notice signs have already been put up to warn motorists of the forthcoming closure and there will be diversion signs.
“We appreciate there will be disruption to traders and motorists, which is why we have opted to phase the work to minimise any problems.”
The spokesman also pointed out pedestrian access to shops and businesses on both Cricklade Road and Devizes Road were still open.
A host of safety improvements and maintenance which began at the end of January on the M4 between junctions 16 and 17 have also been causing commuters a rush-hour headache.
The work, which will continue until May, includes the stablization of embankments and upgrading traffic signals.
One motorist, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s cut it down to two lanes and so the traffic is at a standstill during peak times. There have been a few accidents as well with people not slowing down before it bottlenecks.”
Highways Agency project sponsor Rachel Scott said: “The works have been carefully planned so we can undertake two schemes at the same time which will significantly reduce disruption.
“However I would advise people to plan their journeys and allow extra time.”
Other work includes the replacement of sections of the steel central reservation barriers with concrete barriers.
A spokesman added: “A 50mph speed limit will also be in place to ensure the safety of road users and our workforce.”