AN ambitious scheme to transform a key part of the town into a £33m Bus Boulevard has been given the thumbs-up.

Visitors to a pop-up council stand in the town centre showing plans for Fleming Way this week gave a very enthusiastic response.

Staff from Swindon Borough Council and its contractor Colas put plans on display at the end of The Parade, just by the underpass under Fleming Way.

Part of the work which has started and is scheduled last for two-and-a-half years is to remove the underpass and lower the road - making it easier and more attractive to people to pass between the new Kimmerfields development and the town centre.

Robert Loss, who grew up nearby and has lived in Swindon all his life, said: “I think it’s a great idea.

I think something has to be done to improve this part of the town.

“I think the council should do anything to have a positive effect.”

After speaking to council and Colas staff, Anne Darby from St Andrew’s Ridge said: “I’m sure this is going to work. I’m excited by it.

“Anything that brings people into town and keeps them here will be a good thing. We need a variety of things here, not just huge department stores.”

Lukasz Hallmann lives in west Swindon but works in the town centre and was equally enthusiastic about the multi million-pound scheme.

He said: “It’s mostly centrally funded, which is good. And look at the town, look around – something has to be done.

“We are building all these houses, and that will bring a lot of money and investment in, but we need to improve the town centre to make the most of this.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing this happen.”

Work has already started on Fleming Way and it will be closed fully this September- with the whole project scheduled to finish in 2024.

Councillor Gary Sumner, the council’s cabinet member for infrastructure, transport and planning, said: “This project is huge for our town and is about much more than providing a new and improved bus interchange, although that is clearly very much needed.

“This is one of the most important regeneration projects in recent times because of the knock-on benefits it will bring in terms of unlocking development in the surrounding area and bringing jobs and investment into the town centre.

“Lowering Fleming Way to remove the underpass and create a vastly improved public realm and open space in this part of town will be an incredibly complex task.”

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