FROM today one of the major routes in North Swindon will be closed as it is upgraded in preparation for the building of a new primary school.
Tadpole Lane is expected to be closed for several months.
The school will be built as the first phase of the Tadpole Farm development and is due to open in September.
When the 1,700-home development was originally given the green light, one condition was that an access road was built from Ermin Street for construction traffic.
However, because of the need for school places it was agreed to build the school first even though the access road will not be ready – Tadpole Lane will be used by use by construction traffic.
While it is being upgraded to be made suitable for the extra vehicles, it will be closed to all traffic from Salzgitter Drive and Oakhurst Way, with drivers being told to use Thamesdown Drive instead.
The change of access has yet to be formally approved and will go before the council’s planning committee next week, but Blunsdon Parish Council are objecting to the proposal on safety grounds.
Ian Jankinson, the chairman, said: “It is a rural road which is not suitable for such regular use by lorries. There are sharp bends and it is not wide enough for two lorries to pass each other without one of them leaving the road.
“It would not be able to cope with massive lorries for a year.
“We have been contacted by one resident who was forced to step back off the pavement as two trucks tried to pass each other.
“I know many of the residents in Oakhurst are opposed to the plan.
“It was announced in March and so the developers have had all that time to build the access road and they have done nothing.”
A council spokesman said: “There is an urgent need to build a new primary school in North Swindon.
“To get the school built in time, we have to create a temporary access for construction traffic from Tadpole Lane. Once the school is built this road is intended to be shut, not later than December, because by then the original route for construction traffic, off Ermin Street, will have been completed.
“Tadpole Lane is closing temporarily to allow the access into the construction site to be created.
“As agreed with the developer, work has also been going on for some weeks to install traffic calming measures to slow all traffic along the road, which will be in place before lorries start to use it on the way to the school site.
“At the moment, 5,500 vehicles use the route every day, of which approximately 100 are HGVs. The school building work will only add another 20 HGVs to this daily total.”