The Regent Circus redevelopment continues to focus attention on, what appears to many, the folly of blurring the distinctions of priorities between motorist and pedestrian.

Now, with the project getting closer to its conclusion, we learn that one of the ‘restaurants’ that will soon grace the area is a burger outlet. Excellent news there then! Swindon continues to offer the very best (or should that be same?) in haute cuisine.

Back in February one local was quoted in the Adver as saying that with the opening of the new supermarket he wouldn’t have to ‘walk all the way down to Sainsburys’ any more.

That will save him all of a thousand yards and he’ll have a choice of buying his burgers to eat in, or eat out, right on his doorstep.

I have some trepidation that The Beehive is undergoing its first re-fit in thirty years, but I have confidence that Andy Marcer won’t change things too drastically. The spirit of Noel Reilly must be allowed to live on.

But back to the traffic issue, and I can see where the planners have obviously been misled.

That’s because, also back in February, an artist’s impression was published of the finished article. And as with all these stylised illustrations, it showed a picture of tranquillity in the middle of Swindon.

Trees and shrubs adorned the new complex and people meandered about in a carefree manner, unperturbed about the danger of being hit by any traffic.

That’s because there wasn’t any.

Well, to be fair there were two cars shown amongst the two dozen pedestrians, but as far as I could tell they could have parked.

It’s easy to see how the town planners would have been taken in by this oasis of calm. Plainly there would be no need to protect the public from the motorist (well strictly they are the public as well, but you get my drift), because the chance of anyone getting hit by a car had been virtually eliminated by the lack of traffic.

But as I wandered through the area on Saturday something struck me. And no, it wasn’t a Ford Transit.

It was that I could hear an approaching siren as an emergency vehicle caned towards Regent Circus. Seconds later a fire engine raced through as fast as it could (and surely slower than the fire fighter wanted) as it responded to goodness knows what.

And what occurred to me was, what with the impending closure or Fleming Way to all but buses and the location of the fire station, any fire fighters racing westwards to an emergency is going to have to negotiate this bottle neck.

And as I expected, last weekend Regent Circus didn’t look anything like the artists impression I had seen in February. There were people and vehicles everywhere, and surely some of those pedestrians had the very visual impairments that others have very validly expressed concern about elsewhere.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m wrong if in five years time any of those tress are still standing.

If any seating area has not been taken away because it encouraged drunks to congregate and the homeless to sleep on.

If the area isn’t strewn with litter and graffiti, and the shrubs decorated with detritus from the previous nights’ revellers.

And I’ll be delighted and relieved if no one has been hurt or killed on the shared road space.

But I can’t help thinking I’ve seen this sort of thing before and know how it will end up. If I’m wrong it will justify I’m not a Swindon town planner. If I’m right it will bring into question (again) why those who hold the positions do so.