Swindon AdvertiserMechanics’ is at risk from bus changes (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Mechanics’ is at risk from bus changes

Swindon Advertiser: Mechanics’ is at risk from bus changes Mechanics’ is at risk from bus changes

THE group trying to save Swindon’s historic Mechanics’ Institute says the alteration of a town centre bus route could damage the dilapidated building.

The routes through the town centre are set to be altered, meaning they will run past the Mechanics’.

The Mechanics’ Institute Trust has said the move will damage the empty building and shows a lack of respect for Swindon’s heritage.

However, Thamesdown Transport has said the change is important to improve punctuality of the routes and consideration for the history of the Railway Village has been taken into account.

A number of years ago it was discovered the Institute building was unsafe and so work was carried out to stabilise it.

To prevent damage from bus vibrations, westbound routes along Bristol Street were diverted along Faringdon Road and then through Park Lane, although eastbound services continued along the same route.

The new changes will see westbound buses come through Emlyn Square, thereby running along the south and west side of the Institute building.

As well as losing several residents’ car parking spaces, the Trust believes it could lead to further damage for the iconic building.

Chairman Daniel Rose said: “The railway village is a vital part of Swindon’s history. We thought a lot of progress was being made but then we heard about this. Scaffolding is still up around the building and we know it is not properly stable.

“It was a council officer who originally said this and they advised moving the buses away in the first place.

“This now means that bus will be running right past and risk severely damaging the building.

“There is also the effect it has on the Railway Village.

“The heritage plan says we should be trying to get all buses out of the area but this instead turns the Mechanics’ building into a glorified roundabout.”

Coun Bob Wright (Lab, Central) also disagrees with the route change.

He said: “This really raises the question over how decisions are made. On the one hand we say we want to save the Mecahnics’ Institute and then a decision is made which could have a structural and environmental impact.”

The bus company says it has considered the Institute building but the Bristol Street route will improve punctuality and ease congestion on Faringdon Road.

Paul Jenkins, managing director of Thamesdown Transport, said: “The operation of buses along Bristol Street has been a crucial part of Swindon’s public transport network for many years, as it enables buses to avoid the traffic delays along Faringdon Road.

“Since 2010, buses have been temporarily diverted via Faringdon Road due to emergency building repairs on the Mechanics’ Institute, which have now been completed. “Whilst eastbound buses have returned to the original route past the building, westbound services are still being delayed due to following the diversion.

“We appreciate the historic significance of the Railway Village and value the cultural and industrial heritage of the Mechanics’ Institute. “The Church Place bus gate helps to ensure that the majority of general traffic only travels along one side of the Mechanics, however, the strategic nature of this route for public transport mean that reinstating two-way operation of buses through the bus gate is essential if we are to provide a punctual and reliable bus service to the people of Swindon.”

Comments (12)

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1:25pm Mon 7 Jul 14

shewhocares says...

Paul Jenkins, managing director of Thamesdown Transport, said " We appreciate the historic significance of the Railway Village and value the cultural and industrial heritage of the Mechanics’ Institute" no one gives a stuff about the heritage in Swindon, especially the council who in my mind should be the ones preserving it....not spending money on useless fountains, overhead hanging gardens and more multistory carparks!
Paul Jenkins, managing director of Thamesdown Transport, said " We appreciate the historic significance of the Railway Village and value the cultural and industrial heritage of the Mechanics’ Institute" no one gives a stuff about the heritage in Swindon, especially the council who in my mind should be the ones preserving it....not spending money on useless fountains, overhead hanging gardens and more multistory carparks! shewhocares
  • Score: 5

2:03pm Mon 7 Jul 14

malctg says...

I cannot understand why The Mechanics has not preserved and a use found. It seems to me the council want to see it demolished like so much of the towns history. Likewise the railway village is part of Swindon's history that has been ignored and allowed to fester!. I see no future for The Mechanics it will disappear. There is no pride in our old buildings and most will go. While most other towns and cities. Preserve use and respect their historic buildings! The Foureyed Poet.
I cannot understand why The Mechanics has not preserved and a use found. It seems to me the council want to see it demolished like so much of the towns history. Likewise the railway village is part of Swindon's history that has been ignored and allowed to fester!. I see no future for The Mechanics it will disappear. There is no pride in our old buildings and most will go. While most other towns and cities. Preserve use and respect their historic buildings! The Foureyed Poet. malctg
  • Score: 4

2:08pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

If a few buses going by make the place unsafe then that shows it should be pulled down. The railway village is full of junkies and low lives anyway. It was ruined years ago
If a few buses going by make the place unsafe then that shows it should be pulled down. The railway village is full of junkies and low lives anyway. It was ruined years ago Davey Gravey
  • Score: 3

3:00pm Mon 7 Jul 14

swindondad says...

There are only three options for this building (and other like it).

Taxpayer subsidized preservation.

Commercial redevelopment,

Demolition.

After years of talking you would have thought everyone would have worked that out so FFS do Something / Anything rather than just sit around talking.
There are only three options for this building (and other like it). Taxpayer subsidized preservation. Commercial redevelopment, Demolition. After years of talking you would have thought everyone would have worked that out so FFS do Something / Anything rather than just sit around talking. swindondad
  • Score: 7

4:07pm Mon 7 Jul 14

AMSOSA says...

Here we go again!

If the building belongs to anyone, its the people of Swindon, not just a group of people who have already been given one of the pubs and the community centre!
Here we go again! If the building belongs to anyone, its the people of Swindon, not just a group of people who have already been given one of the pubs and the community centre! AMSOSA
  • Score: 4

9:00pm Mon 7 Jul 14

faatmaan says...

the building is an eyesore nobody of means wishes to perpetuate, there is no real use of value to the whole community of Swindon been found to be acceptable, effectively its the dinosaur with no future
the building is an eyesore nobody of means wishes to perpetuate, there is no real use of value to the whole community of Swindon been found to be acceptable, effectively its the dinosaur with no future faatmaan
  • Score: 2

10:12pm Mon 7 Jul 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Personally I think the mechanics is now past saving. As disappointed as that maybe for some; years of indecision by all parties and lack of investment have condemned it.

The building should be stable on its footing, the fact it is not means commercial redevelopment is almost guaranteed not to happen; and the tax payer will not want to pick up the bill; especially in these times of austerity.
Personally I think the mechanics is now past saving. As disappointed as that maybe for some; years of indecision by all parties and lack of investment have condemned it. The building should be stable on its footing, the fact it is not means commercial redevelopment is almost guaranteed not to happen; and the tax payer will not want to pick up the bill; especially in these times of austerity. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 3

11:00pm Mon 7 Jul 14

greenpacer says...

Wiltshire is to get Government funding . Try spending it on the Mechanics institute and turning it into a town leisure centre. No buses should be going through that area. The roads were not built for them. Avoid congestion by going back to the sixties and turn the one way part of Faringdon Road into two way. Buses for the railway station can turn left into Bridge Street. The park end of Faringdon Road could have a bus lane by moving the pavement into the Park alongside . There fore pedestrians can walk in safety that side. So take note Swindon Council . I will give you plenty of ideas on how to build the roads around here. Gisa job!!
Wiltshire is to get Government funding . Try spending it on the Mechanics institute and turning it into a town leisure centre. No buses should be going through that area. The roads were not built for them. Avoid congestion by going back to the sixties and turn the one way part of Faringdon Road into two way. Buses for the railway station can turn left into Bridge Street. The park end of Faringdon Road could have a bus lane by moving the pavement into the Park alongside . There fore pedestrians can walk in safety that side. So take note Swindon Council . I will give you plenty of ideas on how to build the roads around here. Gisa job!! greenpacer
  • Score: 1

6:54am Tue 8 Jul 14

GalaxyMan says...

The only possible hope for this old monstrosity is to turn it into apartments. It will never have a future as a community centre.
The world has moved on, the building needs to as well.
The only possible hope for this old monstrosity is to turn it into apartments. It will never have a future as a community centre. The world has moved on, the building needs to as well. GalaxyMan
  • Score: 4

9:29am Tue 8 Jul 14

Alex English says...

swindondad wrote:
There are only three options for this building (and other like it).

Taxpayer subsidized preservation.

Commercial redevelopment,

Demolition.

After years of talking you would have thought everyone would have worked that out so FFS do Something / Anything rather than just sit around talking.
The problem is that so many of those who could actually do something about it believe that sitting around talking about doing something is the same as actually doing something.

Hence so many of our historical buildings have remained unused for decades and fallen into ruin.

Simultaneously, much the same people also sit around talking about how Swindon isn't really much of a destination for tourists and wondering how that could possibly be the case.

Still, when your job is to sit around endlessly talking about things that never happen, I guess that somebody, somewhere, ticks the box marked 'Satisfactory' on your Annual Performance Appraisal form.
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: There are only three options for this building (and other like it). Taxpayer subsidized preservation. Commercial redevelopment, Demolition. After years of talking you would have thought everyone would have worked that out so FFS do Something / Anything rather than just sit around talking.[/p][/quote]The problem is that so many of those who could actually do something about it believe that sitting around talking about doing something is the same as actually doing something. Hence so many of our historical buildings have remained unused for decades and fallen into ruin. Simultaneously, much the same people also sit around talking about how Swindon isn't really much of a destination for tourists and wondering how that could possibly be the case. Still, when your job is to sit around endlessly talking about things that never happen, I guess that somebody, somewhere, ticks the box marked 'Satisfactory' on your Annual Performance Appraisal form. Alex English
  • Score: 1

9:54am Tue 8 Jul 14

Melgee says...

The Mechanics Building will never be restored to it's former glory in my lifetime and I have been watching it's slow but steady demise for well over 40 years now.
The Mechanics Building will never be restored to it's former glory in my lifetime and I have been watching it's slow but steady demise for well over 40 years now. Melgee
  • Score: 0

6:29pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Al Smith says...

There are two groups of people who are wholly to blame for the state of the MI - the Thamesdown councillors who opposed the redevelopment of the MI into a hotel 25 years ago and the local NIBMYs who also opposed the same plans. One can only live in hope that the NIBMYs carried on living in the area and got to see the fruits of their labour on a daily basis.
There are two groups of people who are wholly to blame for the state of the MI - the Thamesdown councillors who opposed the redevelopment of the MI into a hotel 25 years ago and the local NIBMYs who also opposed the same plans. One can only live in hope that the NIBMYs carried on living in the area and got to see the fruits of their labour on a daily basis. Al Smith
  • Score: 0
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