Buses could be routed away from the town’s historic Railway Village to protect the Victorian buildings and the structure of the streets.

At the moment six routes use the streets of the conservation area just south of the main railway line which was built in the mid-19th century as housing for Great Western Railway workers. The routes are 1, 1A, 5, 19, 19A and 22.

But many think those buses should have their routes amended to avoid the Bristol Street boundary of the conservation area, which is now a Heritage Action Zone, and Emlyn Square at its heart – with the routes going no further into the area than Faringdon Road, its southern boundary.

Members of Swindon Borough Council’s Conservative cabinet were asked by Labour councillors past and present Bob Wright and Junab Ali when buses might be stopped from using the grid of streets.

Coun Wright said: “When the railway village was built it was built for horse-drawn carriages, the roads weren’t built for vehicles like buses.

"It’s not only the buses, but they are the biggest vehicles, and there’s a lot of damage being done to roads and pavements, especially on the tight corners where big vehicles can’t get round, so they drive over the corner.

Coun Ali echoed those views. 

He said: “We need to protect this area – the pollution and weight of the buses is damaging the road and the buildings. We’ve been talking about it for a long time.”

Council leader David Renard said council officers were in ongoing talks with bus operators about  moving buses from the area with the aim of better protecting it. 

He added: “He need to agree it, but it’s definitely in our plan.”

Swindon’s Bus Company general manager Alex Chutter said: “We will work with Swindon Borough Council and other parties, with our customers’ priorities and interests in mind, if and when it comes to re-routing our services away from the Railway Village. 

“The Railway Village should be easily accessible to all. We strongly support the progression of a robust access and movement study, which doesn’t disadvantage bus passengers – and is closely aligned to the government’s National Bus Strategy. 

“As things currently stand, we are continuing to operate along this route, to provide a fast and efficient journey time in-and-out of our town centre – whilst providing the Railway Village and other surrounding areas with a high frequency bus service.”