ADVER ROADSHOW: Housing development could create problem unless something is done (From Swindon Advertiser)
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ADVER ROADSHOW: Housing development could create problem unless something is done
CONCERNS over a bottleneck road that could become clogged with traffic around the proposed housing development at Ridgeway Farm, could be cured with a new scheme to create a green wave of traffic lights.
After developers Taylor Wimpey reduced the width of the spine road which would serve as the central access route to development to 6.5 metres, there have been cries of dissent from those who believe the road would create unnecessary danger to drivers and clog traffic.
But Swindon Council is rolling out a new scheme on Thamesdown Drive this year to integrate traffic lights along the route to keep a smooth flow of traffic, and have licence to roll out the initiative into West Swindon, particularly Mead Way.
Keith Williams, portfolio holder for Highways and Transport at Swindon Council, said: “The difficulty with the development is that the roads are an issue that does not fall directly under the area of Swindon, but there is definitely a direct impact.
“There is some money from the housing development which will go towards investigating that. One of the major causes for concern is that outline planning application was granted on appeal but not held in public, and areas such as parking provision in houses and inroads have not been properly considered.
“They are elements of the planning application in their own right and should be treated as such.
“The reason the road has been narrowed is to reduce the speed of traffic coming through. The impact that could have is there would be a bottleneck on that road.
“A lot of the traffic goes from east to west, bringing Wiltshire into Swindon.
“On Thamesdown Drive we are putting in an integrated traffic management system. All of the signals will link up and be coordinated by a central hub. After we have put down the lights on Thamesdown Drive, we have another 15 junction licenses left, so we could extend the system along Mead Way.
“Traffic lights are not something we really want to put up, so we are going to be looking at that option carefully. If we do find we have a serious problem then that is something we can put into place.
“It will have a green wave, allowing a better flow of traffic along the route.
“While now we have a high volume of vehicles approaching, this system will allow a freer flow of traffic.”
Kevin Fisher, chairman of the Shaw Residents’ Association, thinks the new access road is designed to create danger for motorists to force them to slow down.
“Approaching vehicles will have only 10cm between them if there is a vehicle parked on the road and will likely stop, holding up traffic in peak hours,” he said.
“But they are now considering applying double yellow lines along the length of the spine road, which will have a speed limit of 30mph.
“If the narrowness of the road has been designed to ensure that on street parking slows traffic, placing double yellow lines on both sides of the road will negate this safety feature and present speeding dangers to both pedestrians and road users.
“The standard for building new roads seems to be based on the North Swindon example, creating as much danger for motorists as possible to prevent speeding.
“They have deliberately designed the roads to be too narrow to slow the vehicles down.”
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