STRATTON residents had their say on big plans to replace the Moonrakers mini-roundabouts with lights-controlled crossroads in a bid to ease congestion.

Hundreds of people responded anonymously to a public consultation about the potential major change to one of the parish’s busiest junctions which is blocked up by traffic jams on a daily basis. Out of everyone who responded, 132 liked the idea of abolishing the roundabouts altogether but 112 disliked the proposal and 33 were somewhere in the middle on the matter.

Some welcomed the different road layout: “Anything that keeps it moving. It’s one of the worst junctions in Swindon and people drive any which way."

Another said: "The roundabouts are too small and can be dangerous, I have witnessed a lot of near-misses and beeping horns, traffic lights would be a lot safer."

One eager responder said: "Please enact this change as quickly as you can, people can't be trusted to deal with the double-roundabout properly."

Others disliked the plans and expected the change to make congestion worse rather than better: “Signals on a junction that is already flat-out with traffic flow, who gets paid to think up these crazy ideas?”

Another complained: "Traffic lights will add to the congestion, especially at quiet times and rush hour, it will just become gridlocked. The two roundabouts here work as well as they can for the volume of traffic and the only way lights will work is if you can magic more lanes out of the space."

A third said: "It's ill-thought-out, you need a way to move traffic through the area not tie it up with traffic lights."

A few responders worried about the timing and sequencing of the lights and stressed the need for the new lanes to be clearly marked. Parish councillors discussed the various responses at their planning meeting earlier this week.

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Coun Barrie Jennings said: “It's like a Gordian knot, there is no real solution to it and we are lumbered in this modern age with roads that were built for horse and cart. Whatever is done is not going to improve the situation a great deal.”

A bus lane would be added to Cricklade Road leading up to the new crossroads in a widened part of the carriageway for buses travelling north between Cirencester Way, Chestnut Avenue and the Moonrakers junction, though 120 responders disliked this idea and 109 liked it.

One opinionated resident said: “No bus lane, I don’t like buses, only poor unwashed people use them.” Another added: "Not enough buses travel this route to warrant a new lane."

One person in favour of the new bus lane said: "I think this is a good use of taxpayers' money and hopefully encourages increased use of public transport."

If these plans are approved, the existing bus lane turning left from Cricklade Road onto Beechcroft Road by the roundabouts would be available for all types of traffic to use and the current bus stop would be relocated. Several people who took part in the consultation wanted to turn the junction into one big roundabout.

Coun Teresa Page said: “For years, Coun Joe Tray and I have been fighting to have that bus lane removed since the park-and-ride died a death and we asked to make it a left turn lane into Beechcroft Road, which I believe they’re going to do so I’m very pleased about that."

Coun Tim Page suggested a safety measure that didn't come up during the consultation: "The area around it could have yellow cross-hatching so cars can’t park on it or stop on it, it would keep the area free of traffic, and you’d be fined if you go on the boxes, it’s very effective.”