Plans to close the Welton Road slip road in November amid the ongoing Mead Way roadworks saga have been labelled “unbelievable” by a Labour councillor.

Chairman of the scrutiny committee Jim Robbins said he was “stunned” when he received an email telling him the utility works were expected to take place between November 1 and 12.

The council has since clarified the slip road onto Great Western Way will not be closed until after the Mead Way roadworks have finished.

Coun Robbins said: “It beggars belief that the Conservative administration wanted to cut off one of the two remaining entrances to Westlea.

“Both Coun Kevin Small and I replied immediately, incredulous that the council could consider this whilst the Mead Way roadworks are ongoing and show no signs of completion.” 

Drivers won’t be able to use the Welton Road slip road to access Great Western Way and the eastbound carriageway for 65m while the fibre communications works take place. Traffic will be diverted via Welton Road, Stonehill Green and Mead Way.

This development comes after the Mead Way roadworks completion date was pushed back again to November. Within the space of a week, the September 23 date was delayed to the end of October and then to November. 

The project began in March 2020 and was initially expected to take 20 weeks. 

The council’s director of strategic development and growth Richard Bell said in September: “I can’t say it’s definitely November. I can’t say the costs won’t increase, but we are getting nearer the end and it’s getting more likely.”

Coun Robbins added: “I was stunned to receive the notice and couldn’t believe that the cabinet member for highways could seriously consider more works.

“Until Mead Way is complete, there can be no further roadworks in the area. We’re pleased that they have seen sense on this issue and call on the administration to make a pledge to not carry out any further works in Westlea until they finally finish Mead Way and get the road reopened.

“Swindon deserves better than these constant delays. It really feels like the highways department have lost control of the situation at the moment.”

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “This story has been blown out of all proportion as we immediately clarified that the utility work at Welton Road will not take place until Mead Way has re-opened

“The council is continuing to manage the highway network with a number of competing priorities, including essential utility work.”

The scrutiny committee will hold a special session on over-running roadworks in Swindon on Monday and will try to understand what has caused the delays.