BUSES arriving “twice a minute” at peak times are blighting one of Swindon’s most historically important areas, residents say. 

Repairs to the road along Bristol Street last week offered temporary respite. 

But with the return of the nine bus services that run through the Railway Village, residents have called for the vehicles to be re-routed along main roads Park Lane and Faringdon Road. 

They say that the buses are noisy, damage the road surface and could bring health-damaging pollution. 

Hannah Parry of the Central Area Residents’ Improvement Group (CARIG) said: “We would like to see the bus re-routed. It’s not about getting rid of them. It’s not about causing a problem. We recognise that buses need to be nearby.”

Martha Parry, chairman of Swindon Civic Voice and a Railway Village resident, said that damage from the buses had left council officers needing to make temporary repairs “three or four times” in recent years.

Buses used to be able to travel in both directions past the historic Mechanics Institute, but were banned several years ago after fears were raised over the impact on the listed building, she added.

Manny Jaspal, 54, of Bristol Street, has been monitoring the frequency of buses along the road outside his home. He says that, at peak times, there are up to two buses arriving every minute.

“It’s quite a noisy road,” he said. “There was a time when there were no buses down here and it was probably one of the quietest roads in Swindon. 

“Clearly, there should be no buses. They should go back to when they were on the main road. It’s a conservation area.”

Kristian Wheeler, 45, of Bathampton Street, said: “The buses are getting in the way of each other. They’re just causing a log jam for themselves. It’s just the worst place to have a bus service.”

Carole Baker, 70, of Bristol Street: “I’d like them to use the Faringdon Road way again.”

Nine bus services use the Railway Village to get between the town centre at Park Lane. They include Stagecoach’s 51A, between Cirencester and Swindon, and the Thamesdown 1A service from West Swindon to Great Western Hospital.

Alex Chutter, Thamesdown’s general manager, said he completely understood the concerns of local residents – but added: “Bus services in and around Swindon provide a vital lifeline for many. They also offer the perfect solution to reducing harmful emissions and congestion by providing an opportunity for people to leave their cars at home. 

“Whenever we make changes to our routes, we pay careful attention to the effect they will have - both on our customers and on those living in the area. 

“We took the decision to re-route bus services through the Railway Village in order to alleviate congestion and to improve reliability. 

“Previously, buses from West Swindon mainly used the heavily congested Wootton Bassett Road, travelling through William Street - which was often difficult to pass due to parked cars. And buses from the north of the town used Park Lane and Faringdon Road - where traffic caused considerable delays.”

A spokesman for Stagecoach West added: “Millions of passenger journeys are made every year on bus services that operate along Church Place and Bristol Street in the Railway Village. 

“This section of route is vital in order to operate Stagecoach services 10, 53 and 55 as punctually as possible as it enables buses to avoid the congested Faringdon Road. These bus routes also help those that live in the Railway Village to access local shops, jobs and leisure facilities by bus.”