TRAFFIC concerns were top of the agenda at a busy consultation about the planned changes to the roads around the New Eastern Villages development.

To accommodate the 8,000 houses, two schools, and other retail and business facilities, a Great Stall bridge will be built over the A419 for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport to go through Covingham Drive.

And improvements to the A420 and White Hart junction are in the pipeline, plus a new Southern Connector Road from the NEV to Commonhead roundabout.

The plans for all of these changes were displayed at Hooper’s Field Sports Hall in Wanborough with councillors on hand to chat to residents about the project.

Tony Pullan has lived with his wife in Wanborough for 30 years.

He said: “We accept that there’s got to be a development but it must be managed in a way that suits locals as well as developers.

“We aren’t NIMBYs. We have to be positive about it, but we do have some concerns about Commonhead roundabout.

"There’s going to be a lot more traffic going to it with the connector road. They’ve got to make changes to the roundabout.”

Jackie Wilkinson lives with her husband on Covingham Drive.

She said: “The changes to the White Hart junction must be done. It will alleviate a lot of the traffic there.

“Our biggest concern is the bridge that will bring more traffic down our road. It’s busy enough now and there won’t be enough room, especially if they open it up to lorries and other vehicles. It would be horrendous.”

Ridgeway councillor Gary Sumner said of the consultation: “I’m amazed that there’s so many people here, it’s great.

“It’s been very positive.

"The people accept the need for the connector road and they understand that we need sustainable transport links to Swindon.

“It’s really exciting because we’re looking at improving the road infrastructure before the pressure is added, so this way people won’t be stuck in queues for years.”

Sam Howell, from Swindon Borough Council’s NEV team, said: “We’ve had a really good turnout. People seem genuinely engaged and have a real mix of views.”

Nick Small, of bus company Stagecoach, said: “We’re seeing a lot of growth in Swindon. The 66 bus route is one of the fastest-growing in the UK in terms of usage.

“If we fail to provide effective and relevant bus services we just contribute to road congestion, so we will work very closely with Swindon Borough Council to ensure that the proposals are optimised to make them as good as they can be.”

For more information about the plans, visit