Lifting the restriction on through traffic using Wanborough could see someone killed or seriously injured, fears one resident of the village.

And while local highways authority Swindon Borough Council says no decision has been made, it says it is considering the move.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “The order banning vehicles directly between Covingham and Wanborough, along Wanborough Road, is 40 years old and it is questionable whether people using the route are even aware the restriction exists.

“To suggest there will be an increase in traffic and accidents if the order is removed ignores the fact people are already using it as a through route. Recent correspondence with a leading sat nav provider confirmed the restriction was not on its records and therefore it has not been informing local route decisions away from Wanborough village.

“Wiltshire Police are unable to enforce the restriction, particularly at the Foxhill crossroads. We have therefore approached both Covingham and Wanborough parish councils to seek their views on removing the restriction as it currently serves no purpose. Any final decision will take into account forthcoming local developments and relevant local planning policies.”

But even the prospect of the restriction being lifted causes John Henshall, who lives in Divinity Close, grave concerns.

He initially wrote to the council, and the Wiltshire’s police and crime commissioner Angus Macpherson about the signs at Fox Hill crossroads being in such a poor state they were hard to read and being ignored.

He said: “There is a constant stream of traffic through Wanborough, using it as a handy little rat run down to junction 14 of the M4 or up to the A419.

"The traffic from the Fox Hill direction is coming down hill and it’s speeding through the village. There’s a roundabout at the junction with Rotten Row and trying to get on to the High Street there is dangerous.

“It’s a blind corner, so you have to edge out, but traffic comes flying down the High Street. They know they don’t have to give way to traffic from the left so they barely slow down at all.

“I think something bad will happen.”

When Mr Henshall got wind of the possibility of the restriction being lifted, he posted his concerns on the Wanborough Community Facebook page.

One response from Jan Wooller said the restriction was in place because: “There were accidents, including fatalities. Two cars raced each other down Callas Hill. One made it to Covingham, the second took off on Callas Hill, hit the telegraph pole several feet off the ground and landed on its roof.'