Old Town set for Wichelstowe bus priority scheme

Swindon Borough Council is seeking opinions on how it might ease bus journeys from Wichelstowe as they pass through Old Town. Options being considered include traffic lights at major Old Town junctions, a ‘shared space’ in the High Street, or making some roads one way or bus-only routes.

diagram of road scheme
One of the options being considered for Old Town, with High Street converted to a ‘Shared Space’.
The masterplan for the Wichelstowe development envisaged a circular bus route between Swindon town centre and Wichelstowe, with buses reaching East Wichel via Old Town, and reaching West Wichel via the Designer Outlet and Rushey Platt. The most congested parts of the route have been identified as being Old Town and the junctions of Redposts Drive and Penzance Drive with Wootton Bassett Road. The current Swindon Borough Council consultation is about proposed changes in Old Town only.

The council is considering three options:

  1. traffic lights at the four major junctions in Old Town, labelled ‘Controlled Movement’ by the council;
  2. changes to road layouts and junctions, and making High Street into a ‘shared space’, labelled ‘Integrated Movement’;
  3. making one or more of the main roads in Old Town one way or bus-only, labelled ‘Restricted Movement’.

The suggestion of a ‘shared space’ comes despite the unpopularity of the ‘shared space’ at Regent Circus in the town Centre and despite a report [PDF] from the Institute of Highway Engineers last year recommending a moratorium on further schemes.

The council will be holding two drop-in sessions to explain the proposals at the Arts Centre in Old Town, between 3 pm and 7 pm on Tuesday 27 September and Tuesday 4 October. The consultation is open until Friday 14 October 2016. Full details of the consultation are available on the Swindon Travel Choices website.