A special BBC report this week showed Swindon as one of the UK’s fastest growing towns and cities with the number of homes in the town increasing by seven per cent over the last few years.

Government housebuilding targets will ensure many more houses will be built in the borough over the coming years in developments such as the New Eastern Villages and Wichelstowe, to name just two.

More homes mean more residents and that inevitably places a greater strain on our roads and infrastructure. It is why we are constantly planning and looking at ways we can increase capacity at key pinch points on our highways network.

We have been very successful in recent years in securing millions of pounds in funding from the Government, often through the Swindon and Local Enterprise Partnership, and this has enabled us to bring forward a number of improvement schemes over the next 12 months.

The latest of these is at Mead Way in West Swindon. Drivers who use the road regularly will know the road, which links north and west Swindon, suffers from queues, particularly at peak periods.

Next week, work to create an additional northbound lane from Meads Roundabout on Great Western Way to Withymead Roundabout, by Simply Gym and Kidz About, will get underway. The roundabout at Westmead Drive and Stonehill Green junction will also be converted into a signalised crossroad junction with a toucan crossing for pedestrians to cross Westmead Drive.

Traffic modelling has shown that by creating additional capacity it will not only help improve the traffic flow on Mead Way itself, but it will have a positive effect in freeing congestion on Great Western Way and the knock-on effect this has on the Bridgemead area opposite.

We expect the first stage of the work will take 10 weeks to complete and it will involve a full road closure between the Meads and Westmead roundabouts. Disruption is inevitable, but I would ask drivers and residents to bear with us while this important work is carried out as it will bring improvements to all who use the road.

Over the next couple of weeks, local people will have the chance to find out more about two further schemes, which will bring great benefits to the town.

On Tuesday (3 March between 12noon and 5pm) and Thursday (5 March between 2pm and 5pm) we will be holding two drop-in events at the Jurys Inn for people to view our plans to revitalise Fleming Way. The proposed scheme would see Fleming Way completely transformed to include a new public space, much-improved pedestrian and cycle routes and a a new bus interchange.

We still have a bit of work to do to secure the funding we require from the Government, but this is a hugely exciting scheme, which will change the face of the town centre.

On Thursday, 12 March we have a further drop-in session planned for our £2.8m scheme to improve the Moonrakers junction. If you would like to see the plans, please pop along to Pinetrees Community Centre between 3pm and 7pm to find out more.

You can keep up to date on all our road improvement schemes by signing up to various highways newsletters at: www.swindon.gov.uk/newsletter