A HAZARDOUS stretch of a Peatmoor road has moved a step closer to safety after funding was made available to protect pedestrians during the school run.

Campaigners have been calling for a new crossing in Swinley Drive for more than a year and now locality funds have been set aside for the project.

Traffic surveys were carried out to find the place with the highest footfall close to the village centre, but it would not pass the criteria for borough planners so a spot by the community school is being considered.

Greig Evenett, 37, of Peatmoor, began the campaign to improve safety.

He said: “What highlighted it for me was one incident while my daughter and I were crossing the road, and a car came round the corner at excess speed and we only just had time to jump out of the way.

“That was what started my campaign to either get speed checks in the area or a recognised crossing in place.

“We never really picked up on it until we came across it every morning and afternoon during the school run, where you get cars flying around the corners at speed.

“The ideal place for it would be around the traffic island on the straight section of road by the shops.

"Traffic flow in the area is increasing and when they have finished building the new housing estate at the end of the road there will be more and more people looking to use Swinley Drive as a rat run. Traffic will do that, but it is the speed which is the issue here.”

Coun Mary Martin (Con, Shaw) said: “There were two sites being considered – one location by the Peatmoor Village Centre and another on the bend where the public footpath crossing is.

“Neither site met the criteria for crossings, which we knew already. In terms of numbers of people crossing at peak times it was roughly 48 near the village centre and eight in the other location.

“The location on the bend is not ideal from a visibility point of view. We are looking at stepping up public consultation at the location by the school where the existing pedestrian refuge is.”

Kevin Fisher, chairman of the Shaw Resident’s Association, said: “The Shaw Residents Association has for some time been asking for a pedestrian crossing on Swinley Drive.

"The design of the road, with its long sweeping double bend close to the point where children cross to get to school, makes crossing problematic.

“In 2012 a parent wrote to us describing the rules of crossing Swinley Drive during peak time were more akin to ‘listen, wait, wait, wait, guess, hope and run’.

“We welcome this initiative and hope the crossing will be built without any further delay. Of course Ridgeway Farm will significantly increase traffic on this road and we look forward to further consultations with our councillors on how the section 106 money allocated to this road will be spent.”

Two consultation events will be taking place on Tuesday, October 21, at the Woodlands Edge pub from 5.30pm-7pm, and Monday, November 10, at the West Swindon Forum at the Link Library from 7pm-9pm.