THE roadworks on Mead Way will finally be finished and the road will be fully reopened after "everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong".

After several delays caused by unexpected setbacks which added an extra £550,000 to the original £4.8 million cost for the widened road and new traffic lights, the revamped route will be ready on Tuesday.

Coun Gary Sumner said in Thursday night’s council meeting: “Mead Way will open as promised at the end of the month. The disruption wasn’t predictable, the Covid pandemic wasn’t predictable and we regret the disruption businesses and residents faced."

In a statement, the cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, transport and planning, added: “We are just a few days out from our revised date for reopening the road to traffic and we are still on track to hit that deadline.

"There will be some additional work that needs to be carried out, but the most important thing is that the road will be back open to through traffic.

“This has, without doubt, been one of the most challenging road schemes we have had to deal with and it seems that everything that could have gone wrong, has gone wrong.

"Circumstances have conspired against us on many occasions as we have been relying heavily on third parties to carry out various elements of the work and the pandemic certainly hasn’t helped us.

"That being said, the buck stops firmly with us at the council and I would like to once again apologise to local residents and the businesses that have been affected.

“I look forward to seeing the new road reopened so local people can finally go about their everyday lives and benefit from the improvements that have been made to this key route.”

Signs have highlighted to passing motorists that businesses on the Westmead Industrial Estate are still open and accessible, but they have still been hit hard by the extended work.

Andy Young of Swindon Electrical Supplies will be dissolving the wholesaler company and merging it into his contracting business after seeing demand dry up over the last 19 months.

He told the Adver: “If we had known this would take almost two years, no-one in their right mind would have said ‘ok’. I would have shut the business there and then.

“The deadline changed so many times, it was like dangling hope in front of you and I kept thinking ‘we can survive a little longer, let’s keep it going for a short period’ but it drained my resources and wasted my money.

“Some of the businesses near me can’t prove whether it was the roadworks or Covid that made them go downhill, but I know it was the roadworks because tradespeople still needed supplies during the lockdowns but we could not sell the stock, and the contracting was busier than ever.

The 57-year-old set up the supplier in the hope of making it his priority as he headed towards retirement and eased off the physically-demanding contractor work, but now he’s had to focus on the contractor company while continuing to sell some supplies under the same roof.

He added: “Swindon Electrical Supplies was a big investment and it took eight years to get it to a good position where it paid for itself. Now the customer base has gone to almost zero, I can’t spend another eight years getting it back to where it was.

“It feels like a step backwards and an extra burden but I’ve got no choice, I’ve been forced to do this.

“I hope this works, it may do, but not for a while. We are all a bit disheartened but we will give this a try - otherwise I’d be out of a job and have to let my staff go.”

Swindon Borough Council’s scrutiny committee chair Coun Jim Robbins said: “While I’m pleased for residents and businesses that Mead Way is finally reopening, the delays and costs that have been forced onto residents and local businesses are unacceptable and more work needs to be done to stop this happening again in the future.

“Too many Swindon roadworks have been delayed in recent years such as Greenbridge, Bruce Street Bridges, the Moonrakers junction, White Hart roundabout and now Mead Way.

“I’m so sorry that good local businesses have had to close due to the delays caused by the council and I really hope that residents remember these delays and who was responsible when they think about the councillors they choose to represent them in May.”