RESIDENTS have expressed their frustrations that one of the town’s busiest roads is to be closed for weeks on end yet again.
From today, Oxford Road will be closed for essential repair and resurfacing work, which is expected to take up to three weeks.
The work will take place on the stretch of road between the junction with Sangdate to the junction with Burden Close and will include carriageway structural repairs, the reconstruction of a number of drainage gullies which have regularly deteriorated under heavy loads, and some large areas of resurfacing to improve the carriageway surface and profile.
Residential access will be maintained, but buses will not be able to travel along the road.
And those living in the surrounding streets have said that they will be the ones that suffer as they will have to deal with the diverted traffic.
Mark Cufford, whose mother lives in Oxford Road, said: “I don’t understand why it’s too bad for buses to get through but it’s okay for police cars to go down there.
“A week is not too bad but three weeks is a long time to not be able to get a bus. It’s going to be madness. She can walk but she can’t walk that far.”
Residents and businesses will still have access to their properties in Oxford Road with traffic marshals on hand to assist drivers between 8am and 6pm every day. However they will not be able to park their cars along the road during these times.
Traffic will be diverted between the Greenbridge and White Hart roundabouts along Dorcan Way, Covingham Drive and Merlin Way.
Kayte Goff, 43, lives in West End Road and is one of the residents affected.
“It’s going to be an absolute nightmare,” she said.
“How the hell am I going to get out of my road, everyone is going to go up Swindon Road or Dorcan Way when Oxford Road is closed. It will take a lot longer to get anywhere.
“They have chosen the right time to do it in the summer holidays so there will be less traffic on the road.
“If it needs doing it needs doing.”
It is the second year in a row where residents and businesses will suffer a daily headache from issues caused by roadworks.
For four months last year, traffic along Oxford Road caused havoc while Wales and West Utilities carried out works to ensure the safety and security of gas supplies to homes and business.
Queues as far back as the A419 caused a daily headache as people struggled to get in and out of their driveways and negotiate the temporary traffic lights.
As part of part of Swindon Council’s highway maintenance programme for 2013 to 2014 improve the carriageway and enhance ride quality, the work will also tackle the regular deterioration of this section of the road, which leads to noise and vibration issues for many local residents.
Councillor Russell Holland (Con, St Margaret & South Marston) said: “I understand that people are not going to like the roadworks that are going to take place, but they are necessary to improve the road.
“I live on Oxford Road myself and will be as much affected by the works as other residents.
“I’m sorry for this inconvenience and if there is anything we can do to help they should let us know.”
The work will be carried out in three phases. Drainage work is due to start today, followed by resurfacing from July 29 and the third phase, focusing on lines and specialist surfacing, will commence on August 5.
John Foley, chairman of Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, said: “It’s an essential thing. It’s unfortunate but necessary. I don’t think it will affect the locals too much but it might the people who live on the roads off it.”