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Roads to nowhere

Sorry to keep going on about urban highway infrastructure keeping pace with housebuilding but the Adver recounts yet another bizarre and disconnected planning story.

Since Thamesdown Drive was built 20 or more years ago, our town has not seen any strategic highway addition. Before that it was Great Western Way, probably 40 years ago. In this period the town has put on around 60,000 houses, each with two or more cars, and despite some work to try to mitigate delay at intersections, the queues get longer daily.

I led a campaign in 2015 to try to get the long promised extension from Thamesdown Drive to B&Q constructed. Unfortunately, spending specific developer contributions elsewhere, alarming naivety and a lack of seriousness on the part of the council ensured the application failed.

In this case the planning inspector sided with the developer who wanted to ensure their spine road, designed specifically on the basis that it could be part of the eastern villages strategic highway network allowing access to the A420, remains private.

Frankly it’s little use Jim Grant expressing exasperation, however understandable. We enjoy politically a Conservative dominated council, two Conservative Ministers as MPs, a Conservative Environment Minister and a Conservative Government. Is it beyond the wit of all of these political bedfellows to get together and cut the hapless Borough Council officers, simply trying to do the best they can, a bit of slack.

John Stooke, Haydon End, Swindon

Delays unacceptable

I would like to add to the comments from Cllr Jim Robbins 3 December re the Junction 16 improvements. We had quotes from Council leader David Renard and Cllr Mary Martin who both said the total overspend was £760,000, a 6.4% cost to Swindon taxpayers. In fact the Swindon taxpayers were expecting to pay £2.76m - this increased by the total overspend £760K, totalling £3.52m for Swindon taxpayers, a 28% increase NOT 6.4%! The Regents Circus bus lane/bus stops work started on 18th March 2018, estimated 16 weeks; the works, in a near perfect summer, were completed November 2018, 33 weeks later.

Derek Richards, Swindon

It could happen here

A 68 year old woman suffered a stroke in Flintshire recently. The ambulance arrived 11 hours later, and in addition she had to wait another two and a half hours outside the hospital for a bed. She died. A total of thirteen and a half long hours!

Flintshire ambulance service said it was perfectly correct having given the woman an amber category.

Up until fairly recently media ads have bombarded us regarding the great urgency required if one is suffering from a stroke: time is of the essence, warn the government sponsored ads. Not if you live in Flintshire it seems.

Moral of this sad tale: don’t suffer a stroke in Flintshire.

And let’s not get smug because it could happen here, God forbid.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

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