Rush-hour reprieve may stop road chaos
10:12am Wednesday 30th April 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
ROADWORKS scheduled to close a large section of Whitehill Way next week could be rearranged to avoid morning rush-hour chaos.
The phased resurfacing work by Swindon Council in Mead Way, between Shaw Ridge Leisure Park and Mead Way, is due to start on Tuesday, May 6, with a series of road closures and diversions being put in place before the improvements finish on May 22.
The first part of the work will see patching and kerbing work carried out with a road closure from Mead Way to Eastleaze and the fiveways roundabout in place between 8am and 6pm for a week, but councillor Keith Williams said the council is looking at pushing the start time back to 9am.
Coun Williams, cabinet member for transport, said: “I think if the start could be put back, even if it meant the work continued for a few extra days, it would probably suit the majority of people as the greatest volume of traffic will be travelling down there in the morning, with the flow being split more in the evening.
“These discussions are important as I understand that this is a main route through Swindon and if we can make it easier for commuters we’ll look at it.”
A decision about whether to change the start times of next week’s work is expected today.
In general, the roadworks haven’t proved popular with some residents.
Jerodequin Lequois, who lives in west Swindon, said: “If the roads are totally closed to traffic it will cause absolute chaos to traffic coming from Thamesdown Drive and beyond. People who live nearby don’t appear to have been given any advance warning either.”
The works will affect businesses at Shaw Ridge Leisure Park, but Craig Ullrich, who runs Laserquest Swindon, doesn’t think they will greatly change his trade.
He said: “I drive those roads on the way in and to be fair they are broken to bits in places and in need of work. There have been electronic signs up highlighting that roadworks will take place for a while so we have known about it.
“I think we’ll be fine as local people will be able to get around, but it might be a bit of an issue to people travelling from further afield. I can see why it is frustrating to some people but is a double-edged sword – if you want the roads improving it is only natural that they might have to be closed.”
Paul Storey, the council’s highways construction works project manager, has apologised for the expected disruption around Whitehill Way.
“We have tried to programme the works to avoid any disruption to local businesses,” he said.
“I apologise for any inconvenience in advance that these works may cause.”
For more information about the roadwork programme visit www.swindon.gov.uk.