£100k to widen road is a bad idea, say residents
5:00am Friday 7th February 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
PLANS to use a pot of money to help widen Queen Elizabeth Drive in Priory Vale have been met with derision from a number of residents on the road.
In the budget for next year, set to go before the full council later this month, a fund of £845,000 has been set up to fund various projects in Swindon.
Of that cash, £100,000 has been allocated to widening the road at various points to help buses pass each other. But some locals who have been campaigning to have buses moved off the route for safety reasons, argue the road is not wide enough meaning the buses regularly have to mount pavements to pass each other.
Until this point, the council has said it will not force Thamesdown Transport to alter the route. Instead it has put the money forward as a solution but the residents say this is not the answer.
David Parkinson, 50, said: “It’s absolutely nonsense to spend this money on widening the road when there is a far cheaper alternative available.
“Thamesdown Drive is certainly wide enough for the buses and it never used to be a problem before. It is a waste of money.
“When budgets are being cut and services being lost the money could easily be used elsewhere. There is a much easier solution and it says a lot that they are considering spending the money this way.”
David, and fellow Queen Elizabeth Drive resident Brian Mclean, 57, have met with councillors several times to discuss the issue and believe if the issue is to be solved by widening Queen Elizabeth Drive then it will take a much bigger sum than the £100,000.
Brian said: “Even if widening Queen Elizabeth Drive was the answer to the issue, the £100,000 is such a paltry sum that it would come nowhere near meeting the job.
“It would come nowhere near to covering widening this road to the same aesthetic standard that the residents have historically enjoyed and it is alarming that Swindon Council are not recognising this.
“The residents do not want this misspend of tax payers’ money on road widening – the buses can be re-routed onto safe, effective and efficient routes that already exist.”
The Adver attempted to contact both the Council Leader and the Cabinet Member for Transport but they were unavailable yesterday.
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