RESIDENTS have voted overwhelmingly against the reinstatement of a divisive traffic regulation order which stopped motorists using Queensfield and its adjoining streets as a rat run at rush hour.

A 12-month traffic regulation order began in February 2012 to prevent motorists from turning into Queensfield from Cricklade Road from 7.30am to 9.30am on weekdays and turning out of Queensfield on to Cricklade Road from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on weekdays.

Following a consultation into whether the order should return permanently, 161 residents voted against with 86 voting for.

Of those people living in Queensfield itself, 36 people voted against the order with 23 for.

The initial experiment came after what some residents said was a 15-year wait for action to stop Queensfield, Duchess Way and Hathaway Road being used as rat runs for commuters.

But some residents said there were other solutions, such as linking Crompton Road with Hyde Road, and handed in a 400-signature petition calling for the ban to be suspended.

The trial for the regulation order divided people and at the end of six months of debating whether it should be reinstated, a petition came before full council last autumn, asking for it not to return to the area.

Councillors decided to hand the decision back to Stratton’s ward councillors, who then put the decision out to a public consultation, which ran until January of this year.

Coun Joe Tray (Lab, Penhill & Upper Stratton) said: “Demo-cracy has spoken, so we have agreed there will be no more traffic regulation orders.

“Highways felt it was better to see traffic being reduced through there, but it wasn’t being policed all that often, so whether it was successful I don’t know. It certainly had an impact though.

“I feel sorry for the people that live on the main road through. I know that will mean more traffic for them, but I am happy we have gone through the process of consultation.”

With a line drawn under the Queensfield traffic issue, Coun Tray is keen to address wider issues with roads in the north of Swindon, including the congestion he said is caused by access to the A419.

He said: “The traffic infrastructure of North Swindon has been ignored for years by the council.

“Their ignoring of the build up on roads has pushed people to use the roads through estates as rat runs.

“I will now push to see the council commit to improving things like the roundabout at Moonrakers and the access the north of the town has to the A419.

“They have spent millions on knocking down a car park in the town centre only to put another car park in its place.

“This is money which could be spent improving the infrastructure across the north of the town.”