NEW lighting at Greenbridge roundabout has split opinion.

Swindon Borough Council say that the new £55,000 lighting system would make an “impressive visual display” of the roundabout.

The LED lights are currently programmed to mimic dawn and dusk, while after dark a range of lighting sequences feature the spokes of a rotating steam engine wheel, alternating spirals of colour and a colour “spiral”. In the future it could be used for advertising, the council said.

However, the new lighting scheme – part of £166,000 improvement works at Greenbridge roundabout paid for by developers – has already split opinion among Swindon drivers. 

Taking to Facebook, one woman wrote: “Ahhh, pretty lights for everyone to look at whilst they sit in needless traffic caused by the so-called improvements, which in fact have ruined one of the only decent roundabouts in Swindon.” 

Another man said: “They would have been better off marking the lanes correctly and have intelligent traffic lights to stop the congestion.”

Writing directly to Swindon Borough Council, one man branded the lights a “waste of public money”. He said: “You as a motorist should not be focusing on lights, but driving.”

The new lights will be used to help the town mark Remembrance Sunday and other significant awareness days and public events. 

In November, the lights will fade from red to green – creating the impression of poppies floating in the breeze.

Toby Elliott, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, said: “Swindon is famous for its roundabouts and the work to redesign the Greenbridge junction in preparation for the New Eastern Villages gave us the opportunity to create a welcoming feature for motorists as they make their way into town.

“The lighting uses the latest technology and, as an Armed Forces Covenant Champion, I am delighted we will be able to create the Remembrance tribute later this year. It is a great example of how we can use the lights to promote various activities or themes. We now have the capability to turn the lights pink in support of a cancer charity or even have them on red for when Swindon Town are playing at the County Ground.”

He raised the prospect of the lighting being used for advertising, saying it will “give us the opportunity to develop an income stream to the council in future years”. 

The borough said that the new lighting cost £55,000 – part of a £166,000 landscaping scheme on the roundabout that has seen new trees planted and “wildflower earth” installed.

The money for the works has come out of Section 106 contributions paid by developers.

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