Wichelstowe to Swindon town centre Quality Bus Corridor
The Transport Planning team presented three options in autumn 2016 for the Old Town district to support the delivery of a quality bus corridor between Wichelstowe and Swindon town centre. A second round of public consultation showing preliminary options for Old Town as well introducing proposals for Mannington junction was held last December. A third phase of public consultation took place in February 2017, presenting proposals for the whole route between Wichelstowe to Swindon town centre.
The proposal will provide a link between Wichelstowe and Swindon town centre and seeks to meet the following criteria:
– A branded bus service with localised traffic priority measures to enable a competitive and reliable journey time.
– A high quality of customer service including the provision of real time information and Wi-Fi.
– A high frequency timetable, utilised by a modern accessible bus fleet, calling at a limited number of stops on route.
Funding for this scheme has been allocated from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.
First round of consultation, September-October 2016:
The three proposals were at a concept stage and at this first phase of consultation – we were seeking views on preferred option/s before commencing with more detailed investigation. The proposals explored the options for delivering improvements in Old Town where the proposed route experiences the greatest number of challenges.
In summary Option 1 proposed signal controlled highway movements; Option 2 reflected a greater emphasis on public realm, shared space (also referred to as less engineered space) and Option 3 explored alternative ways of utilising the existing highway network in this area including the use of bus gates and one-way systems. The feedback from this round of consultation suggested Option 1 was the least preferred proposal.
Second round of consultation, December 2016:
A second phase of public consultation consisting of more detailed plans took place in early December 2016. There were three preliminary options for Old Town and two options for Mannington roundabout/Wootton Bassett Road. Options 1 and 3 were least preferred, which involved respective bus priority measures on High Street (Option 1) and Devizes Road (Option 3).
Third round of consultation, February – March 2017:
Following the feedback received from the options shown in December 2016, a further round of public consultation took place in February- March 2017, including a series of public consultation events in late February.
This phase of consultation presented a scheme for the whole route from Wichelstowe to Swindon town centre, with proposed works for Pipers Way, Old Town and Mannington junction.
The proposed works for Mannington roundabout were well-received and will now progress to detailed design with delivery of this scheme expected in 2018.
Limited support was generated for the proposals involving the core Old Town area, which included exploring the use of Wood Street for bus services and changes to the junction arrangements for Wood Street-Devizes Road. These plans will not progress.
An alternative scheme at the Regent Circus bus interchange is being promoted. This was previously developed as part of the town centre regeneration proposals.