New Swindon station ‘front gate’ is officially open ... just two months later

New station ‘front gate’ is officially open ... just two months later

New station ‘front gate’ is officially open ... just two months later

First published in News

THE revamp of Swindon railway station was completed two months ago, but was officially opened yesterday.

The development team, including Swindon Council, Forward Swindon, Network Rail and First Great Western were celebrating the upgraded “front gate” of Swindon yesterday despite it being three months overdue.

The celebrations at the Christmas tree on the forecourt, were hosted by Swindon Council chief Rod Bluh and councillor Garry Perkins, cabinet member for regeneration and culture.

They were joined by the choir of Isambard Community School who were singing carols for everyone to join in.

The £1.8m scheme, funded by the Department of Transport, Swindon Council and Network Rail, provides new facilities such as a new taxi rank and decorative paving, seating and trees.

Coun Bluh said: “First impressions matter. Rail visitors to Swindon will now have a much better initial view of the town than they would have had before.”

Amanda Hoyland, Network Rail’s route enhancements manager, said: “We’re sure passengers will appreciate the new forecourt, which has been built to a high standard and quality of finish.”

Robin Bailey, chairman of Forward Swindon said: “The mainline station is a major route into Swindon for commuters and visitors, all of whom will now have a better impression of the town .”

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:06pm Fri 14 Dec 12

The Real Librarian says...

QUOTE
Coun Bluh said: “First impressions matter. Rail visitors to Swindon will now have a much better initial view of the town than they would have had before
UNQUOTE

There's still work to be done.

Visitors step out onto the nice new forecourt and onto Station Road, where they see Premier House (Empty,) the Zurich Life Centre (Soon to be empty) and the building site where the old laundry used to be.

They then walk through the Tri Centres wind tunnel, past the increasingly squalid bus station and the clock that has been half an hour wrong for months and to the underpass.

Just before they pass into underpass, they can look up and see the old Allied Dunbar office on top of Debenhams that has been empty for about fifteen years and then onto The Parade, if they can fight their way past the gangs of Chavs outside Gregs.

They can keep going past the cheap squatter retail shops and empty units beside British Home Stores and up to the civic centre, where the council spent over £200,000 on a leaky metal fence.

At this point they would, if they had any sense, turn tail and head back.
QUOTE Coun Bluh said: “First impressions matter. Rail visitors to Swindon will now have a much better initial view of the town than they would have had before UNQUOTE There's still work to be done. Visitors step out onto the nice new forecourt and onto Station Road, where they see Premier House (Empty,) the Zurich Life Centre (Soon to be empty) and the building site where the old laundry used to be. They then walk through the Tri Centres wind tunnel, past the increasingly squalid bus station and the clock that has been half an hour wrong for months and to the underpass. Just before they pass into underpass, they can look up and see the old Allied Dunbar office on top of Debenhams that has been empty for about fifteen years and then onto The Parade, if they can fight their way past the gangs of Chavs outside Gregs. They can keep going past the cheap squatter retail shops and empty units beside British Home Stores and up to the civic centre, where the council spent over £200,000 on a leaky metal fence. At this point they would, if they had any sense, turn tail and head back. The Real Librarian
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Always Grumpy says...

The Real Librarian wrote:
QUOTE
Coun Bluh said: “First impressions matter. Rail visitors to Swindon will now have a much better initial view of the town than they would have had before
UNQUOTE

There's still work to be done.

Visitors step out onto the nice new forecourt and onto Station Road, where they see Premier House (Empty,) the Zurich Life Centre (Soon to be empty) and the building site where the old laundry used to be.

They then walk through the Tri Centres wind tunnel, past the increasingly squalid bus station and the clock that has been half an hour wrong for months and to the underpass.

Just before they pass into underpass, they can look up and see the old Allied Dunbar office on top of Debenhams that has been empty for about fifteen years and then onto The Parade, if they can fight their way past the gangs of Chavs outside Gregs.

They can keep going past the cheap squatter retail shops and empty units beside British Home Stores and up to the civic centre, where the council spent over £200,000 on a leaky metal fence.

At this point they would, if they had any sense, turn tail and head back.
Of course, they could turn left and work their way towards the Manchester Road area and saver the delights on offer there.
[quote][p][bold]The Real Librarian[/bold] wrote: QUOTE Coun Bluh said: “First impressions matter. Rail visitors to Swindon will now have a much better initial view of the town than they would have had before UNQUOTE There's still work to be done. Visitors step out onto the nice new forecourt and onto Station Road, where they see Premier House (Empty,) the Zurich Life Centre (Soon to be empty) and the building site where the old laundry used to be. They then walk through the Tri Centres wind tunnel, past the increasingly squalid bus station and the clock that has been half an hour wrong for months and to the underpass. Just before they pass into underpass, they can look up and see the old Allied Dunbar office on top of Debenhams that has been empty for about fifteen years and then onto The Parade, if they can fight their way past the gangs of Chavs outside Gregs. They can keep going past the cheap squatter retail shops and empty units beside British Home Stores and up to the civic centre, where the council spent over £200,000 on a leaky metal fence. At this point they would, if they had any sense, turn tail and head back.[/p][/quote]Of course, they could turn left and work their way towards the Manchester Road area and saver the delights on offer there. Always Grumpy
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Fri 14 Dec 12

I 2 Could B says...

It is a shame that the railway station is located in one of the least pleasant areas of town.

Compare walking out of Swindon station to that of Oxford or Bristol.

No contest, I'm afraid.
It is a shame that the railway station is located in one of the least pleasant areas of town. [p] Compare walking out of Swindon station to that of Oxford or Bristol. [p] No contest, I'm afraid. I 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Fri 14 Dec 12

twasadawf says...

It is a shame that the railway station is located in one of the least pleasant areas of town.

Compare walking out of Swindon station to that of Oxford or Bristol.

No contest, I'm afraid.
Maybe it would be cheaper to move the station to another town
It is a shame that the railway station is located in one of the least pleasant areas of town. Compare walking out of Swindon station to that of Oxford or Bristol. No contest, I'm afraid. Maybe it would be cheaper to move the station to another town twasadawf
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Fri 14 Dec 12

PaulD says...

every time I walk across it, it is covered in discarded fag ends, cider cans and other litter from the coffee shop
every time I walk across it, it is covered in discarded fag ends, cider cans and other litter from the coffee shop PaulD
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Fri 14 Dec 12

nobody says...

They have made a right pigs ear of the traffic lights, causing delays every day during rush hour.
The road surface is in a right state after all the work and often cars illegally use the bus stop as a drop off point instead of using the official one a few metres away.
They have made a right pigs ear of the traffic lights, causing delays every day during rush hour. The road surface is in a right state after all the work and often cars illegally use the bus stop as a drop off point instead of using the official one a few metres away. nobody
  • Score: 0

4:01pm Fri 14 Dec 12

I 2 Could B says...

twasadawf wrote:
It is a shame that the railway station is located in one of the least pleasant areas of town.

Compare walking out of Swindon station to that of Oxford or Bristol.

No contest, I'm afraid.
Maybe it would be cheaper to move the station to another town
Given how much the 'revamp' cost, I suspect you may be correct.
[quote][p][bold]twasadawf[/bold] wrote: It is a shame that the railway station is located in one of the least pleasant areas of town. Compare walking out of Swindon station to that of Oxford or Bristol. No contest, I'm afraid. Maybe it would be cheaper to move the station to another town[/p][/quote]Given how much the 'revamp' cost, I suspect you may be correct. I 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Fri 14 Dec 12

John Smith II says...

It is a visual improvement on the previous forecourt, but that is about all.

The actual highway design appears to be fundamentally flawed:

* Firstly there is that awful pedestrian crossing that has been highlighted here before, it has two separately signalled traffic flows, but no central pedestrian island between them. This means that in order to avoid accidents where pedestrians start to cross as one set of lights goes red there has to be a pedestrian phase each time the traffic lights go red and the pedestrian button has been pressed - this is clearly causing delays to traffic.

* Then there is the left hand lane that only gives access to the taxi rank and bus stop. For whatever reason this has not been designated as a 'Bus Lane' and as highlighted above cars are setting down passengers at the bus stop, rather than in the dedicated area the other side of the forecourt.

* The bus shelter has been positioned as far back on the pedestrian island as possible and at the opposite end to the bus stop flag, where most vehicles stop. This therefore maximises the distance from the shelter to the bus, which is not ideal when it is raining, and also means that when seated in the shelter it is not possible to see buses approaching along Station Road, as the retaining wall at the west end of the forecourt obstructs the view. On the previous forecourt the shelter was positioned such that the exit from it was as close to the door of the bus as possible.

* The yellow box junction at the end of Wellington Street has gone, probably. I say probably because it has either been ineffectively removed or is just a bit worn out. Either way it would be useful if it was there, as queuing traffic heading straight along Station Road blocks exit from the bus 'lane' at busy times.

So aside from a crossing that can either be programmed to delay traffic or potentially maim pedestrians, a bus shelter that has been positioned to ensure that bus passengers get as wet as possible and can not see approaching buses, and a missing yellow box junction (probably) the scheme can be considered to be a resounding success.

In summary it does look visually better, but the traffic and pedestrian flow aspects appear to have been left for the office junior to sort out on a Friday afternoon....
It is a visual improvement on the previous forecourt, but that is about all. The actual highway design appears to be fundamentally flawed: * Firstly there is that awful pedestrian crossing that has been highlighted here before, it has two separately signalled traffic flows, but no central pedestrian island between them. This means that in order to avoid accidents where pedestrians start to cross as one set of lights goes red there has to be a pedestrian phase each time the traffic lights go red and the pedestrian button has been pressed - this is clearly causing delays to traffic. * Then there is the left hand lane that only gives access to the taxi rank and bus stop. For whatever reason this has not been designated as a 'Bus Lane' and as highlighted above cars are setting down passengers at the bus stop, rather than in the dedicated area the other side of the forecourt. * The bus shelter has been positioned as far back on the pedestrian island as possible and at the opposite end to the bus stop flag, where most vehicles stop. This therefore maximises the distance from the shelter to the bus, which is not ideal when it is raining, and also means that when seated in the shelter it is not possible to see buses approaching along Station Road, as the retaining wall at the west end of the forecourt obstructs the view. On the previous forecourt the shelter was positioned such that the exit from it was as close to the door of the bus as possible. * The yellow box junction at the end of Wellington Street has gone, probably. I say probably because it has either been ineffectively removed or is just a bit worn out. Either way it would be useful if it was there, as queuing traffic heading straight along Station Road blocks exit from the bus 'lane' at busy times. So aside from a crossing that can either be programmed to delay traffic or potentially maim pedestrians, a bus shelter that has been positioned to ensure that bus passengers get as wet as possible and can not see approaching buses, and a missing yellow box junction (probably) the scheme can be considered to be a resounding success. In summary it does look visually better, but the traffic and pedestrian flow aspects appear to have been left for the office junior to sort out on a Friday afternoon.... John Smith II
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Empty Car Park says...

A very poorly thought out waste of a lot of money
A very poorly thought out waste of a lot of money Empty Car Park
  • Score: 0

7:29am Sat 15 Dec 12

TinkeyWinkey says...

Shame they hadn't revamped the town centre first before a station forecourt.


Have to agree with The Real Librarian - look at what you are then greeted with afterwards
Shame they hadn't revamped the town centre first before a station forecourt. Have to agree with The Real Librarian - look at what you are then greeted with afterwards TinkeyWinkey
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Sat 15 Dec 12

umpcah says...

TinkeyWinkey wrote:
Shame they hadn't revamped the town centre first before a station forecourt.


Have to agree with The Real Librarian - look at what you are then greeted with afterwards
For goodness sake get a pair of rose coloured specs. like the councillors wear !
[quote][p][bold]TinkeyWinkey[/bold] wrote: Shame they hadn't revamped the town centre first before a station forecourt. Have to agree with The Real Librarian - look at what you are then greeted with afterwards[/p][/quote]For goodness sake get a pair of rose coloured specs. like the councillors wear ! umpcah
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Empty Car Park says...

Ooh no. Don't do that.

You'll end up seeing "visions" and "vibrants" everywhere.

Probably a few "trend buckers" too
Ooh no. Don't do that. You'll end up seeing "visions" and "vibrants" everywhere. Probably a few "trend buckers" too Empty Car Park
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Sat 15 Dec 12

GalaxyMan says...

Waste of money. A total disgrace.
Waste of money. A total disgrace. GalaxyMan
  • Score: 0

9:43pm Sat 15 Dec 12

female resident says...

It's the second view of the town that's the problem! I think they expect you to hop straight into a taxi. I got off a train at 7pm today and walked through town. I might have got a bus if the Thamesdown bus area at the bus station hadn't been devoid of people and buses. Everywhere was poorly lit and the street lights and Christmas lights were off most of the way up Regent St. The only people around were dodgy looking people in hooded jackets. To feel quite uncomfortable walking round at 7pm on a Saturday night in a large town is very sad.

By the way, there seems quite a muddle over which taxi is next in line at the station if you try to get one, even the drivers don't seem to know.
It's the second view of the town that's the problem! I think they expect you to hop straight into a taxi. I got off a train at 7pm today and walked through town. I might have got a bus if the Thamesdown bus area at the bus station hadn't been devoid of people and buses. Everywhere was poorly lit and the street lights and Christmas lights were off most of the way up Regent St. The only people around were dodgy looking people in hooded jackets. To feel quite uncomfortable walking round at 7pm on a Saturday night in a large town is very sad. By the way, there seems quite a muddle over which taxi is next in line at the station if you try to get one, even the drivers don't seem to know. female resident
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Sun 16 Dec 12

faatmaan says...

why is so much money wasted on unnecessary railway infastructure, yet relative peanuts is spent on busses, sustainable transport for all parts of society rich and those not so well off. theis smacks of pandering to the top end of the food chain, we do not want to inconvenience the people who leave by daylight as quick as they arrive. Swindon is whatever anybody may write, a motoring town, i work in Oxford and Reading near daily, they are nightmares.
why is so much money wasted on unnecessary railway infastructure, yet relative peanuts is spent on busses, sustainable transport for all parts of society rich and those not so well off. theis smacks of pandering to the top end of the food chain, we do not want to inconvenience the people who leave by daylight as quick as they arrive. Swindon is whatever anybody may write, a motoring town, i work in Oxford and Reading near daily, they are nightmares. faatmaan
  • Score: 0

1:46pm Mon 17 Dec 12

house on the hill says...

Not sure you can compare buses and trains as one is more local and the other national and a vital artery for business as well as leisure. If Swindon had no station we would be virtually cut off with no one wanting to live here who needed a train to work elsewhere and businesses not wanting to come here either. Life isnt always about rich and poor, there are usually much wider issues that just that and cutting off your nose to spite your face doesnt really help!
Not sure you can compare buses and trains as one is more local and the other national and a vital artery for business as well as leisure. If Swindon had no station we would be virtually cut off with no one wanting to live here who needed a train to work elsewhere and businesses not wanting to come here either. Life isnt always about rich and poor, there are usually much wider issues that just that and cutting off your nose to spite your face doesnt really help! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree