Old Town Councillor Calls For Residents To Have Their Say On Bus Corridor

Old Town Councillor Nadine Watts is concerned that not enough people are aware of the proposals for the quality bus corridor from Wichelstowe to the town centre via Old Town.  

The public consultation events were quite well attended.  But Councillor Watts feels that more people should get involved, as the proposed changes could be seen as dramatic.  In particular,  three controlled crossings would be replaced with a shared space crossing surface similar to the crossing in Regent Circus.  This is proposed for Victoria Road outside the Post Office, Devizes Road outside Los Gatos and the High Street outside the Co-op.

See attached a photo of Cllr Nadine Watts at the site of one of the proposed shared space crossings.

 Old Town Councillor Nadine Watts said:

 “The aim of the scheme is to provide a fast and reliable bus service from Wichelstowe to the town centre while at the same time improving the local environment and quality of life for pedestrians along the route, particularly in the Old Town area. Often people say that they would use buses more often if they were more frequent and the journey times were improved, so this would address these issues.  If the proposals are agreed, the scheme will be designed in detail later in 2017.  The scheme will be funded by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

People may feel that because they don't use the bus or don't live in Wichelstowe, they don't need to take part in the consultation.  However, the proposals involve buses using Wood Street, and this could impact on pedestrians and shop owners as well as causing congestion, especially during delivery times.  There are also plans to narrow carriageways and widen pavements.

 My main concern involves the removal of three controlled crossings which would be replaced by a shared surface similar to that in Regent Circus.  I am aware that the Regent Circus proposals caused a lot of concern, especially among elderly and disabled people.  There are lots of retired people living in Old Town, and of course some of them have impaired mobility.

 I would urge residents to have their say.  The closing date for feedback is Wednesday 22 March 2017.”

 The consultation material and background information is available at: http://www.swindontravelchoices.co.uk/projects/wichelstowe-brt.aspx .  Or you could phone Swindon Travel Choices on 01793 445500 for further information.

 The link for the online survey only is: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SBCbus