PART of Fleming Way in Swindon town centre will be closed to traffic when the next stage of the Kimmerfields development is built.
The road will become a bus route from what used to be the Whalebridge roundabout. A bus station will be built on the road and the underpass near Debenhams will disappear as everything is brought to a single level.
Traffic will have to go down Corporation Street to get to the train station.
Concerns have been raised that it will lead to the town centre becoming more restrictive for motorists but senior councillors have said it is part of an important long-term plan to regenerate the town centre.
Coun Julian Price (Lab, Covingham and Dorcan), the shadow lead for transport, wants to see a re-think of the plans.
He believes it has been done at the request of MUSE, the developer behind the Kimmerfields development.
He said: “We are deeply concerned about new plans to effectively close off Fleming Ways for motorists, making it buses only.
“These plans have been advocated by the MUSE developers, who think that cutting off motorists from Fleming Way will be good for their future development.
“But we disagree that it will benefit the town centre.
”We think these plans could be counter-productive to the success of the town centre as it will drive motorists away from the centre of town entirely. That is why we are calling for an overall rethink in the approach that has been taken to the town centre road network and we think residents will be behind us on this.”
But their fears have been dismissed as fantasy thinking by Coun Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw), who says the Kimmerfields Development, which will eventually see business space and shops built close to the Tri-Centre, is a key project and the plans have been on the table for a number of years.
He said: “This is something which has been on the table since 2011 so it is not MUSE , but something which was agreed some time ago with no objections raised.
“We have been talking to the ward councillors to make sure that we do the right thing for local residents which is of course the right thing to do.”
“In the summertime we will apply to the court for permission to shut the road to traffic. They will then run their own consultation so the views of people who use the roads can be gathered.”