Published: Thursday, 18th June 2020
The roundabout will be reduced to a single lane between 7.30am and 6pm on weekdays from Monday (22 June) for seven weeks to allow Osborne, the contractor carrying out the scheme, to get on site and complete the next stage of the work.
This will include the installation of ducting and drainage systems to facilitate the £30m scheme.
Work will also need to take place on the A419 slip-road southbound towards the end of the seven-week period at night to ensure this aspect of the work can be undertaken safely. Doing this work at night and while the level of traffic on the roads is currently low also means this will cause minimal disruption to motorists.
Despite the coronavirus lockdown, preparatory work has been continuing with the team adhering to social distancing guidelines.
White Hart junction is being upgraded as part of the New Eastern Villages (NEV) development project. This development will see approximately 8,000 new homes built to the east of the A419 along with new schools, employment spaces and community and leisure facilities.
Key cycling and pedestrian routes will also be incorporated into the development as well as sufficient green spaces, including a nature reserve, playing fields and allotments.
To allow the development to progress, £72.5m is being invested to make sure the nearby roads and junctions can facilitate the extra traffic this development will generate. White Hart is one of the junctions being upgraded, along with Gablecross junction, Piccadilly roundabout and a section of Oxford Road near the Nythe Road junction.
A new road, known as the Southern Connector Road, will also form a link between the NEV and Commonhead roundabout, near the Great Western Hospital.
The upgrades to Greenbridge roundabout, which have already been undertaken, are also part of the investment in the road network in the east of the town in preparation for the housing developments.
Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Infrastructure, Transport & Planning, said: “Work to carry out these vital upgrades have been quietly going on, despite the coronavirus pandemic, but motorists will begin to see more activity on the road over the next couple of months.
“A key feature of these improvements is that we are doing them now before the 8,000 homes are built so we create additional capacity to cope with the extra traffic on our roads.
“We also had the great news last week of a £400m investment at nearby Symmetry Park, which will create 2,000 jobs, further emphasising the need to enhance our road network.”
Here for Swindon - Our measures to support residents and businesses during the outbreak: swindon.gov.uk/hereforswindon
How our most vulnerable residents can get essential food, household supplies and prescriptions: swindon.gov.uk/emergencyhelp
We planted 4000 trees at 'Manners Wood', Pack Hill, Wanborough in the AONB in February 2019
Together with the Woodland Trust, staff from Nationwide Building Society and the Landscape team at Swindon Borough Council we planted 4000 trees in land aquired by SBC alongside an existing woodland scheme in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Pack Hill, Wanborough.
Staff and pupils from Years 3&4 at Wanborough Primary were able to join us and Nationwide were good enough to lay on the coach to get them there and back safely! They were incredibly enthusiastic planters and trees were planted so quickly that more had to be brought to site! They will watch this special new woodland grow and know they helped create it in 2019.
I have arranged that there will be an opportunity for the pupils and other residents who wish to be involved to do a further planting here in November and I will update you about specific dates nearer the time.
Ridgeway Ward residents let me know if you have any questions:
Gary Sumner – your Ridgeway Ward Councillor
As the proposed 'Science Park' immediately adjoins the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty I thought I would share a useful extract from:
'NORTH WESSEX DOWNS AONB POSITION STATEMENT'
(Development Affecting the Setting of the North Wessex Downs AONB)
1. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are designated by the Government for the purpose of ensuring that the special qualities of our finest landscapes are conserved and enhanced. In planning policy terms they have the same status as National Parks.
2. The primary purpose of the North Wessex Downs AONB is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the AONB. The AONB also has secondary purposes to increase awareness and understanding of the special qualities of the AONB, to take account of the needs of agriculture, forestry and other rural industries and to foster the social and economic well being of local communities and those who live and work in the area.
3. The setting of the North Wessex Downs AONB can be explained as being the surroundings outside the AONB and although outside its boundary its extent is not fixed and may change over time. Elements of a setting may make a positive or negative contribution to the AONB, it may affect the ability to appreciate that significance or may be neutral. For the purposes of spatial planning, any development or change capable of affecting the significance of the AONB or people’s experience of it can be considered as falling within its setting.
4. The surroundings of the North Wessex Downs AONB are also important to its landscape character and quality. Views out of the AONB and views towards or into it from surrounding areas can be very significant. Development proposals that affect views into and out of the AONB need to be carefully assessed to ensure that they conserve and enhance the natural beauty and landscape character of the AONB.