LABOUR councillors are to demand an end to the traffic chaos in Rodbourne by pressing for the formation of a cross-party action group.

Mannington and Western representatives Jim Robbins, Kevin Small and Steph Exell will later this month present a motion calling on the council to take action to end the traffic misery that frequently blights the area.

The motion, to be put before a meeting of the full council on Thursday, January 25, will call on councillors to recognise that, with the approval of planning applications such as the North Star and New Eastern Villages Developments, the town “may face an additional traffic burden in future years”.

The solution, according to the Labour councillors, is to “establish a cross-party cabinet member advisory group to look at ways that the council can alleviate traffic gridlock in the town both now and in the future”.

Coun Steph Exell said: “Having spoken with Rodbourne businesses I know how much they have struggled with the traffic problems over recent years. It has impacted not only on their sales but also on their wellbeing.

“Even before the rail works were developed, Rodbourne had a thriving small business community and it would be a shame if we lost that because the council failed to address the traffic challenges.”

Back in December, the Labour trio wrote to the cabinet member for highways and the leader of the council urging them to take swift action.

But, they claim, no response was forthcoming.

Coun Jim Robbins said: “It is a shame the council did not respond to local residents’, businesses’ and councillors’ calls for something to be done to alleviate the traffic problems in the Rodbourne area.

“Mannington and Western councillors wrote to the cabinet twice in December asking them to take action, and it is a shame they didn’t feel the need to respond.”

“Residents and local businesses don’t deserve to keep having these problems every year.”

Business owners in Rodbourne claim to be looking to relocate due to the traffic problems, while residents are struggling to get out of their roads at peak times.

Fellow Mannington and Western Councillor Kevin Small, said: “The Outlet Centre being successful is great news but its success shouldn’t be to the detriment of local residents and other businesses.

“The least the council can do is bring the political parties together to find sensible ways we can help mitigate the traffic problems.”

But council leader David Renard hit back, claiming Labour do not live in the real world.

He said: “While I am concerned about the delays that affect residents, I am deeply disappointed that the Labour Group can only seek to make political mischief that can only damage Swindon’s successful retail centre and misrepresent the facts.

“If the Labour Group bothered to read the Swindon Advertiser of November 30, they would see that the council is responding by investing £4m to improve the traffic flow in West Swindon, installing yellow lines on Paddington Drive and encouraging more people to use public transport rather than their cars.”

He also claimed the council was working with the Outlet Centre to better manage traffic flow.

He added: “I know that the Labour Group believes that there are instant solutions to every problem, or that the Council has an inexhaustible pot of money to use, but the real world is not like that.”