Transport Minister Baroness Vere has announced that Swindon is set to benefit from a multimillion-pound road scheme.
The project – supported by £11.6 million of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) and led by Swindon Borough Council – will include a new access road between the A419 Commonhead roundabout and the southern end of the New Eastern Villages development, enabling the construction of 4,150 new homes.
A footway and shared-use path will run either side of the new road and a new signalised junction at Commonhead and mini roundabout at Wanborough village is set to help manage traffic flow in the area.
The total cost of the scheme is £30.5 million, with DfT contributing £11.6 million and Homes England providing £18.9 million. Works are due to be completed by autumn 2022.
Transport Minister Baroness Vere said: “Our funding towards this new road scheme will help make the New Eastern Villages site a reality, providing a huge boost to Swindon’s economy by supporting thousands of new homes and jobs.
“This new scheme has been planned with everyone in mind and will ensure fast and smooth journeys for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians across the area.
“As we build back better from the pandemic, we will continue to invest in our infrastructure to boost connections, drive regeneration and level up regions across the UK.”
As part of the scheme, Wanborough will see the mini roundabout realigned on Rotten Row and new signage will also be put in place to ensure HGVs avoid travelling through the village, the Government said.
The full New Eastern Villages development programme is set to bring 8,650 new homes to Swindon, along with 40 hectares of employment land, new shopping facilities and supporting services, as well as green corridors.
Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for Strategic Infrastructure, Transport and Planning, said: “The Southern Connector Road is an essential part of the infrastructure required to deliver the New Eastern Villages and I’m extremely pleased that we have managed to secure complete funding from the Department for Transport and Homes England for this really important link road.
“We are investing £72.5 million into the road network around the New Eastern Villages, most of which has been secured from government. This investment in Swindon’s future is a great vote of confidence for our town.”
However, the Government's road-building policy has been criticised by some and is facing a legal challenge from environmental campaigners.