A new A419 northbound sliproad off of the White Hart roundabout is now in place after long-running works.

But it means the old sliproad on Merlin Way has closed and been dug up.

Swindon Borough Council has now explained the reasons behind this after facing criticism from motorists who have questioned the logic. 

With queues building at the junction due to the ongoing roadworks and lane closures at Gablecross roundabout, on the A420 and at the White Hart roundabout, many in the last two weeks or so have ended up in traffic chaos, particularly at peak times. 

Read: Combination of road closures causes gridlock at White Hart roundabout

In the days that followed the layout change some pointed out on social media that it seemed unwise to force people to use the White Hart roundabout to get onto the A419 when they could have previously bypassed it - especially as the major junction still has lanes closed. 

This led many to question why the old sliproad had been closed, and to ask why it couldn't still be used - at least while work was ongoing.

But as part of the new New Eastern Villages newsletter, the council has addressed the criticism.

"One of the main improvements to the White Hart junction has been the creation of a dedicated northbound slip road, which provides a safer and quicker connection to the A419," it said. 

"The new slip road has been designed to meet National Highways’ current design standards as it feeds on to its main road network. The previous Merlin Way slip road, which was shorter in length, did not make it easy for vehicles to accelerate onto the dual carriageway, particularly HGVs.

The council also added that having both the old and new sliproad open wasn't an option and explained why. 

It continued: "Some residents have asked if we can keep the Merlin Way slip road open while lane restrictions are still in place on the White Hart junction. Unfortunately, we cannot keep it open on safety grounds as the signage is in place to direct traffic to the new slip road.

"It would also extend the length of time the contractor would be on site if the slip road was closed at the end of the scheme, adding to the overall cost."

As part of the update the council said both the long-delayed White Hart and Gablecross schemes are expected to be complete in the near future.