The new £30m new road being built to connect the houses in the New Eastern Villages expansion to the Commonhead roundabout and M4 will be built without any cost to the Swindon taxpayer.

The government has confirmed today it will be paying £11.6m toward the project from Department for Transport funds and the Local Growth Funds. That goes with £19m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund announced in November 2019 by Homes England, covering the entire cost of the new 1.5-mile road running from South Marston to the roundabout. It will enable residents to bypass Swindon and the A419 when heading south.

Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for strategic infrastructure and transport Gary Sumner said: “The money from the government was agreed in principle, but it’s always good to have the final confirmation of it, and it means this vital new road will be finished without any money from council tax payers in Swindon.

“We are investing £72.5m into the road network around the New Eastern Villages, most of which has been secured from government. This investment in Swindon’s future is a great vote of confidence for our town.”

The new road is part of a major package of improvements designed to cater for traffic generated by the NEV – which could see 8,000 homes built – and its associated new business properties, such as the 50,000 sq m Amazon warehouse at Symmetry Park.

Transport minister Baroness Vere said: “Our funding towards this new road scheme will help make the New Eastern Villages site a reality – providing a huge boost to Swindon’s economy by supporting thousands of new homes and jobs.

“This new scheme has been planned with everyone in mind and will ensure fast and smooth journeys for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians across the area.”

Homes England’s director of infrastructure grants Sophie White said: “We are committed to working with local authority partners to help them meet their housing needs by supporting the delivery of new infrastructure.

“This funding unlocks critical housing sites by providing road, pedestrian and cycle access routes for the New Eastern Villages communities that will be built in coming years. It supports the council’s vision by providing much-needed infrastructure improvements in Swindon.

As part of the scheme, the mini-roundabout in Wanborough at the junction of Rotten Row and High Street will be realigned to encourage motorists to reduce their speed and more pedestrian crossings and parking spaces will be put in.

New signs also be put in direct heavy goods vehicles away from the village.

Diggers started work on the route of the southern connector road in March.

Coun Sumner said: “Work has started on clearing vegetation and many people living nearby will have seen that. They can be assured that we will be planting 10 times as many trees as we will be removing.”