ONE of Old Town ’s busiest roads is set to close to through traffic from Monday, causing disruption for motorists, bus passengers and businesses.
Victoria Road will be blocked off at the junction with Stanley Street for work to repair a portion of collapsed sewer in the centre of Victoria Road in that area. Motorists will be able to drive up to the cordon on either side, but will not be able to get past.
Capagh Group construction, which has been commissioned by Thames Water to carry out the work, says it has a target date for completion of September 16.
It could spell more misery for businesses in Victoria Road which were affected by a closure of the road back in 2010, which led many people to believe that they were unable to access shops and services along the road.
Thamesdown Transport has also announced that all buses that use Victoria Road will be diverted, so some bus stops will also be relocated.
Keith McArdell, the service adviser at Cross Street Garage, said the closure would cause delays and frustration. He said the work should have been carried out at the weekends and overnight, adding: “If people are used to coming in from Wroughton they they might not know an easy way to come around so it will delay people.
“And it’s also going to delay us getting to places like Nationwide to collect vehicles. So it will have an effect on everybody. It’s just a nightmare.”
Coun Dave Wood (Lib Dem, Eastcott) said: “I suppose work like that will obviously be disruptive but the key thing is that people know about it far enough ahead to plan their journeys differently.
“The thing that was quite disappointing with this road closure is that people didn’t seem to be told about it in any meaningful way. I found out about it yesterday second hand and the council didn’t tell me about it.”
The recommended diversion route from the top of Victoria Road will take motorists along Devizes Road, Newport Street, High Street, Cricklade Street, Drove Road and Groundwell Road. The route for traffic travelling from the bottom of Victoria Road will follow the same diversion.
A Swindon Council spokesman said: “There will be access to Victoria Road all the way up to the closure points at Stanley Street so the roads off Victoria Road will remain open.
“Advance notice signs have already been put up to warn motorists of the closure and there will be diversion signs in place from Monday. “There will be pedestrian access along the whole length of Victoria Road as both pathways will remain open throughout the work.”
A spokesman for Thames Water said: “This collapse has caused sewer flooding in the area, so we will have to close the road to traffic while we carry out this essential work. We estimate this job will take around a week and are very sorry for the inconvenience caused.”