The funding of a new access road between Swindon and the planned New Eastern Villages development will provide faster journeys and enable the construction of 4,150 new homes, according to the Department for Transport.
Planned works on the project include a new roundabout, signalised junction and footway – all of which will ease congestion and improve local journey times.,
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 development, enabling the construction of 4,150 new homes.
A footway and shared-use path will run either side of the new road, ensuring ease of access for pedestrians and cyclists, while a new signalised junction at Commonhead and mini roundabout at Wanborough village will 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 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, to encourage motorists to reduce their speed, as well as more pedestrian crossings and parking spaces. Better signage will also be put in place to help ensure heavy goods vehicles avoid travelling through the village.
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 to enable healthy lifestyles and more active travel.
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.”
Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said: “We are committed to working with local authority partners to help them meet their housing needs by supporting the delivery of new infrastructure. This funding unlocks critical housing sites by providing road, pedestrian and cycle access routes for the New Eastern Villages communities that will be built in coming years. It supports the Council’s vision by providing much-needed infrastructure improvements in Swindon.”
The Housing Infrastructure Fund is helping to meet the government’s target of 300,000 new homes across England by providing local authorities with grant funding for new infrastructure, to unlock new homes in areas that need them the most.