The temporary closure of the bridleway between East Wichel and Wroughton was announced by councillors and the local MP in mid July. It was stated the the closure would last for just five weeks from 26th July, and between 8 am and 5 pm only.
Last week Swindon Borough Council posted a public notice (reference STR000232) that the path would now be closed completely from tomorrow, Tuesday 17th August, for up to six months. Although it is normal practice for closures to be requested for longer than needed for the planned works, Swindon Borough Council’s recent track record for completing highway works on time does not inspire confidence.
The plans, produced back in June, indicate that the closure will be signposted on East Wichel Way near Croft Road, as well as at each end of the path.
There are several other footpath closures planned for the coming months affecting Middle and West Wichel.
The path along the track in Southleaze and across the fields towards Mill Lane will be closed from Wednesday 25th August for up to six months, from the junction with the end of Scott Way and the point where it crosses over the end of the canal south of Waitrose. (Swindon Borough Council public notice STR00234.) This is to allow construction of ‘The Orchards’ areas of West Wichel. We’d expect this closure to be extended until building work near the path has finished. This closure means that all footpaths around Southleaze will be closed, as the other paths have already been closed whilst the Wichelstowe southern access road is built.
The path that cuts across the field from Foxham Way (near the end of East Wichel Way) to Mill Lane (near the start of the ramp up to the bridge over the M4) will close from Thursday 26th August for up to six months. (Swindon Borough Council public notice STR000225.) This is to allow construction of the ‘Wichel Fields’ area of Middle Wichel. We’d expect this closure to be extended until building work near the path has finished, and for the path to then be permanently diverted along one of the new paths through Wichel Fields.
The section of Mill Lane that was permanently closed to vehicular traffic in April will also be temporarily closed to pedestrians and cyclists from Monday 6th September for up to 8 weeks. This is to allow construction of a turning point and barriers.