Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership has approvedimprovement works to Junction 16 of the M4 motorway. The improvements, which had been previously announced, are being funded in part by the joint venture between Barratt Developments and Swindon Borough Council that will develop the rest of Wichelstowe. The works are a condition for the planning approval for West Wichel and Middle Wichel to be developed. The remainder of the funding comes from Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, including funds allocated by central government.
The improvements, expected to cost £10 million, include a revised layout at the junction, widened slip roads, a new footpath around the south of the junction between the B4005 Hay Lane and A3102 Swindon Road, and improved drainage.
The work is to be managed jointly by Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council and Highways England. A contractor for the work has not yet been appointed but it is hoped that work will be completed by Spring 2018.
The revised road layout includes the unusual arrangement of a box junction immediately to the south of the roundabout. This will allow vehicles to drive from Wootton Bassett towards Wichelstowe or Wroughton without having to drive round the Spittleborough roundabout. Traffic on three different routes will all cross at this box junction:
from Wichelstowe and Wroughton towards Swindon and the M4;
from Wootton Bassett towards Wichelstowe and Wroughton;
from Swindon and the M4 towards Wootton Bassett.
Whether those driving from Wootton Bassett towards Wichelstowe or Wroughton will find it quicker to use the box junction instead of driving all the way round the roundabout remains to be seen. The designs also show pedestrian crossings across the entrances and exits to the junction from Hay Lane.