A COMMUNITY campaign group in Stratton has voiced its concerns over immense traffic pressures on Swindon’s main roads that would be caused by the New Eastern Villages developments.

Plans for a bridge to be built over the A419 to accommodate cyclists, pedestrians and buses going to and from the proposed 8,000-house New Eastern Villages site have been shelved, but the Stratton Against Road Changes group is pushing for the bridge to be built and for it to be open to all road users.

Chairman Ron Fox said: “They have kicked the plans into the long grass and may build it if there is any money left from the White Hart roundabout improvements.

“We want the bridge to be built because we think it will share out some of the extra traffic instead of funnelling it along one route. We know that Covingham councillors don’t want it because they will have more traffic sent their way as a result and while we understand that, they will need to accept some of it.

“Otherwise, all the traffic will be jammed along Oxford Road, the White Hart Roundabout and all the way to Greenbridge. White Hart roundabout and Junction 15 of the M4 are already at capacity, which is why work will be carried out on them in the near future.”

“Our group’s first meeting about this NEV traffic issue was two years ago so it’s been going a long time and unfortunately not much has happened in that time. We can wish for it but until the money is available, there’s not much that can be done.”

StARC repeated its commitment to its Great Stall East bridge campaign after Stratton St Margaret parish councillors discussed outline plans for the NEV’s Great Stall East section, which would include up to 1,700 houses, a secondary school, a primary school, a sports hub, a park-and-ride, new recreation spaces and two access roads from the A420.

During the planning meeting, councillors expressed the same concerns as StARC about the development potentially gridlocking roads around it. Coun Barrie Jennings talked about Highways England proposing that only 551 of the houses in the section should be occupied before the White Hart works are finished - an idea that found favour with his colleagues.