A NEW £5m park and ride at Junction 16 of the M4 is in the offing as part of the plan to help ease Rodbourne's traffic gridlock.

Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning Gary Sumner made the announcement as part of a discussion of the issue at Thursday’s council meeting.

He said: “We are looking at a site for a park and ride at Junction 16.

"It would be part of the solution for Rodbourne traffic problems caused by the success of the outlet village. And also If the North Star leisure village development receives planning permission."

He later told the Adver: “Officers are looking for council-owned land in the Wichelstowe development area - the car park would be off the southern access road joining the M4 at Junction 16.”

Coun Sumner added that parking for 1,000 cars would cost £5m and said: “That will be mitigated by the fact that we already have a park and ride in the Wichelstowe local plan, but we’ll move it to this better location.

"That will free up the land already identified for the park and ride in the plan for better use, such as housing.”

He added: “Other park and rides were based on people heading to the town centre- but more people are heading to the Outlet Village, and more will come to the North Star development.

“They come from quite a way away - if we get the signs right at junction 15 and junction 16, I’m very optimistic this will work.”

Labour councillor Jim Robbins, who represents Mannington and Western was cautiously welcoming of the announcement.

He said: “We’re pleased the park and ride is on the table. We’ve been trying to get the cabinet to take the problems in Rodbourne seriously, so it’s good that they’re looking at this.

“We’d need to know how this will work, and how it will be different to the two other park and rides we’ve had in Swindon that are now disused.