THE area outside the train station is to be given a complete makeover in a bid to welcome commuters to the town.

Swindon Borough Council yesterday held a drop-in session for local stakeholders around Wellington Street ahead of a public consultation in January.

The stakeholders – businesses, residents and councillors in the local area – were presented with plans the council had decided would make Wellington Street a proper “gateway into Swindon”.

Sarah Fish, senior transport consultant at project leaders Atkins, said: “Today is intended to display part of the council’s vision to make the road a little bit prettier and safer.

“A lot of people come out the station and it’s not just clear where to go. We want to create a better gateway into the town for people coming into Swindon.”

The aim is to improve the paving and signage towards the town centre and install various pieces of street furniture to improve the feel of the area.

It was stressed that the plans are past merely the “ideas stage”, with the council now looking seriously at the available options.

Some ideas see traffic light crossings replaced with zebra crossings because, as Sarah pointed out: “Very few people actually press the buttons to cross the road, they’re happy just to cross when it’s safe.”

Other plans include widening the footway and installing ramps to slow traffic.

Some of the key elements include adding "high quality paving" to guide pedestrians to the town centre and improved accessibility for those with mobility impairments.

Sarah added: “We want to create somewhere in which people feel safe walking to and from the station, especially at night.”

One commuter, 28-year-old Matt Kyle-Smith, from Stratton, said he thought the area could really benefit from a facelift.

“I get that it’s perhaps not the best view that greets you when you get off the train, so I would support any attempt to try to make it better,” he said.

“I think it would be good because it would give people who were visiting Swindon for the first time a really good impression of the town.”

Pensioner Ann Wallace, from Nythe, agreed.

She said: “When you consider this area is the first thing you see when you come through the station, it really should be better.

“I would love to see a bit of imagination put into it.”