Plans to create a new bus interchange and gateway into Swindon Town Centre will be the focus of two public drop-ins next week.
The proposed scheme has been developed by Swindon Borough Council and would see Fleming Way completely transformed to include a new public space with a green spine to reflect the old canal that used to run along Fleming Way. The project will also feature much-improved pedestrian and cycle routes and will see the removal of the current Fleming Way underpass.
The work will build on the changes to nearby Wellington Street by creating an attractive route from the train station into the town centre, encouraging further investment in the area.
All national and local bus services would be incorporated along Fleming Way, improving the experience of bus users and pedestrians, while the new road layout would complete the link between the Eastern and Western Flyer cycle routes.
The new bus interchange is being developed to complement other town centre regeneration schemes, including the Kimmerfields development to the north of Fleming Way. As part of this development, the existing bus station will be demolished after the new transport hub has been completed enabling the Council to deliver new homes and offices which will bring more people to live and work in the town centre.
It also supports the vision for the town centre, which states that ‘By 2030, Swindon town centre will be the beating heart of the local community. A place to set up home and business, where people stay longer, spend more and keep coming back’.
Members of the public will be able to view the plans and find out more information about the scheme at two drop-in events at the Jurys Inn Hotel on the corner of Fleming Way and Princes Street.
The first drop-in will take place on Tuesday, 3 March between 12noon and 5pm, with the second being held on Thursday, 5 March between 2pm and 7pm.
The Council has applied for £25m in funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund to create the new bus facility after making it through the first assessment phase last year. The final bid for funding will be submitted this April, and the Council expects to find out if it has been successful in the autumn.
Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) has contributed £3m to progress the design of the scheme, to carry out the necessary site investigations and begin the British Telecom diversion. The Council’s Cabinet has also been asked to contribute £5m of Capital funding to this project.
Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, said: “The replacement of the bus station is long overdue and this significant scheme will not just benefit those who live and work here, but create a lasting impression on people who come to visit our town. Swindon has been shortlisted for £25m by the Government from hundreds of bids, and we now have to wait until the autumn for a final decision.
“This would be one of the largest investments in the heart of our town in a generation and sends a message to businesses that Swindon is a place in which to invest.
“If you would like to find out a bit more about the plans and how they will benefit the Town Centre then please come along to one of the engagement sessions because we genuinely would like to hear your views.”
Further information on the plans is available at: www.swindon.gov.uk/busboulevard