In defence of roadworks contractors

Roadworks, particularly in towns, is a very emotive subject. Unfortunately people, ignorant of what is involved, write letters to the press and it is invariably the local authority that gets the stick.

There is a saying 'Don't shoot the messenger'. One could say it is a bit of a minefield and yes it would appear so if a gas or water main is fractured or electric cable damaged.

Sam Smyth's letter, 'What is the point of roadworks surveys, SA Monday June 21 2021 is a case in point. A letter from someone who would appear to never have been involved in a multi-million pound construction project, who assumes everything is black & white.

I have been involved in construction from the age of 15 (summer holidays site works) until the present day, now part-time as a director, some nearly 60 years.

Projects include Debenhams and office block above, Brunel Centre 1st phase, now demolished office block in Temple Street, major works at numerous commercial and industrial developments around Swindon, a cut and cover tunnel on the M4 and six years overseas, Somalia, Sudan and Diego Garcia.

The roadworks at the Moonrakers is almost as bad as it can get for a contractor, not so much ground conditions as existing services and piecemeal working, installing replacement services, to minimise disruption to the traffic, (no don't laugh) with three-way traffic lights and repeated switching of lanes.

As one who traverses the area several times a week, delays are relatively minimal and I can put up with them!!

With regards to White Hart, soil mechanics/ground investigations are a bit of a black art as ground conditions can vary over a very short distance and also bearing in mind the Wilts & Berks Canal ran straight through the middle of the roundabout.

Regardless of all the surveys in the world, until ground is excavated, the full extent of the conditions is unknown.

Better a slight delay to the contract and a bit more money spent at this stage, than problems developing in future years, with the ensuing massive costs and disruption later.

Henry Smith

Whitefield Crescent

Do you have a view on the news? Write letter to the editor via email to or follow the link here.

Austerity to blame for public service damage

So at last Justice Secretary and South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, admits that years of Tory austerity has led to victims of rape not getting the justice they should have had.

This is the same Robert Buckland who, along with his fellow Tory MPs clapped and cheered with great enthusiasm and laughed and booed at opposition party MPs who were against wicked, Tory austerity.

I wonder if Mr.Buckland will now admit that Tory austerity has not only destroyed public services (look at the NHS ) but it also destroys peoples lives.

Tory cuts wreck lives. Agree Mr.Buckland ?

Mark Webb

Wellington Street

A shopper's thanks

During my recent visit to Morrisons, Dorcan Way, Swindon, on June 18, between 8:30-9:00am.

I was at the check out till when a lady two tills down shouted 'has anyone lost their watch'. To my horror on checking my wrist I realised it was my gold watch that had fallen off my wrist.

I did thank the lady at the time, however it felt very rushed as we were both in the process of checking out with our shopping.

Before I noticed the lady disappeared out of the shop. I really wanted to spend more time with this lady so that she could see how much I really appreciated this good deed of finding my watch as it was great sentimental value.

She also restored my faith in humanity.

I would like through your paper for her to know how eternally grateful I am.

Thank you for your help in this matter.

Eileen Hoskin

By email

Do you have a view on the news? Write letter to the editor via email to or follow the link here.