COMMUTERS in Swindon are furious after finding out that the Bristol Street underpass which links the town centre to the Outlet Village has been shut without any notice.

The huge red doors to the pedestrian tunnel were shut on Friday causing confusion and anger among people trying to get to work.

At first it was thought the closure was a mistake. But the doors remained firmly shut the following day.

Churchward PLC was approached by the Advertiser but declined to comment. The firm was put into compulsory liquidation and issued with a winding up order in June.

Swindon Borough Council has said it is working with site partners to arrange an agreement with the owners to reopen it for residents and visitors as quickly as possible.

But users of the underpass are worried that unless the popular route is re-opened they will face a much longer walk to the town centre.

They voiced their concerns on social media.

Jon Davis went to use the walkthrough as a short cut to get to his doctor surgery for a flu jab. He said: “I was very annoyed about this. I walked from West Swindon and normally use the underpass as a cut through from the outlet to the town centre, and as I got to the entrance of the tunnel it was closed.

“There were no signs up in the outlet by the entrance or exit informing customers of this, so I had to walk back through the outlet to then walk to town via Farrington Park, adding more extra time to the walk and only just made my appointment!”

Jane Allen Moore wrote: “Lots of commuters walking from the train station to National Trust and English Heritage for work will not be happy.”

Zoe Thomas said: “Loads of people work at or near the outlet village and use that route to get to work or to get into town at lunchtime. The extra 10 minutes each way will eat up too much of the lunch hour to make it worth going. I hope it reopens soon.”

There was also concern for the safety of people using Faringdon Park instead.

One, who called himself William Teach said: “Just in time for mugger’s season. I wonder what our PCC has to say about yet another crime hotspot.”

Emma Richardson also felt the same way. She said: “The tunnel felt like a safer way to get home. I am definitely not a fan of going past Faringdon park in the dark!”

Ka Ron highlighted the potential economic effect. "So any body using the cheaper outlet car park can't nip into town. Looks like the town will miss out, when it really can't afford to."

Jo Brown discovered the closure on her way to work. "Had to go completely different route to work and was nearly late," she said. "Have to now go unsafe way to work as no other way to get there unless I leave nearly an hour earlier to get there on time."

Dave (Judge Tread) added: "Bit of a farce considering for a good amount of time, no one knew who owned it"