Wanborough could become part of a rat-run for lorry drivers trying to get between the A419 and the M4, especially when work begins on Junction 15.

That is the big fear for people living in the village ahead of £9.5 million works set to begin at one of Swindon's major traffic hotspots in September.

The project is expected to take between 15 to 18 months.

Last week the Adver reported John Henshall’s wish to see the signs of the restriction of through traffic between Foxhill crossroads and Covingham repaired and made more obvious.

In response the Swindon Borough Council said it was consulting on dropping the restriction altogether – and later added very few motorists even knew there was even one in place.

Mr Henshall also voiced fears that lorries will start using the road – and predicted 'chaos' if the issue isn't addressed in the coming weeks.

He said the order was put in place in the 1970s because a number of heavy vehicles tried to get up Callas Hill south of the High Street and failed, rolling back down, out of control.

He said: “I’ve spoken to people who live on Callas Hill who remember how bad it was when lorries tries to use the hilland would stall and roll back.

“That restriction was put in 40 years ago for a very good reason and I don’t think the amount of traffic has decreased since then, it’s increased.

“Work is about to start on Junction 15 and that’s going to make more drivers think they’ll want to avoid it, and they can use the road as a cut through from Junction 14 to the A419 or in the opposite direction, and then with more houses being built at Redlands airfield, and 2,000 houses north of that.

"It’s going to be chaotic. I think it’s an accident waiting to happen.

“If police don’t want to police the junction, I’m sure it could be done with automatic number plate recognition, to see who is driving through the restriction.”

In response to a Facebook post by Mr Henshall, fellow resident Jan Wooller voiced her concern that history was about to repeat itself.

She said: "My car lost a front offside wing when a heavy construction truck coming downhill had brake failure just below the Hinton crossroads.

"It bounced off my car, back across the road again and a telegraph pole stopped it ploughing further along the high street.

"That was in the 1970s. With the number of rat-running vehicles now, it's amazing these sort of accidents haven't recurred."

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman yesterday stressed no decision had been taken on whether it planned to alter the traffic order at Wanborough.

He said: "We know that many people using Wanborough Road as a through route are unaware of the 40-year-old traffic regulation order, but we are equally mindful of the feedback we have received from local residents, including Mr Henshall, who have concerns about an increase in vehicles travelling through Wanborough village should the order be removed.

"Removing the order was not a fait accompli as we made clear from the start. We had a productive meeting with Wanborough parish councillors last week and, after listening to their feedback, we have decided to put on hold any plans to change the traffic order so that it takes into account the future highway works at Junction 15 of the M4 and the New Eastern Villages."