New Eastern Villages transport infrastructure
Context and programme
The current programme of works to the existing highway infrastructure and planned highway improvements.
White Hart Junction Options
White Hart Junction is a key gateway into Swindon, connecting the A420 with the A419. Work will be carried out to improve capacity and mitigate the impact of development of the NEV.
In its current form, the White Hart junction would be unable to cope with the significant increase in traffic that will be generated by the NEV.
We propose erecting traffic signals at the White Hart roundabout and constructing a new northbound slip road on to the A419. This will replace the existing slip road which is not up to standard. It will be built to the north of the roundabout and will require the construction of a new bridge over the railway.
Other work will include the widening of the southbound slip road from the A419 onto the White Hart roundabout. The existing entry point onto Ermin Street will be closed and replaced by a new priority junction on Oxford Road. There will also be an increase in the number of lanes and the existing footbridge will be retained.
Work is due to start in October 2019 and is expected to finish in March 2021.
The Hub/Symmetry Park junction (Developer delivered)
The Hub/Symmetry Park is the first of the New Eastern Village (NEV) developments to be granted outline planning permission. Once completed, it will comprise employment (logistics and distribution) land use. A new access has been created on the A420 to serve the employment areas and new residential development to the south.
A420 Gablecross Junction
This junction improvement is required to increase capacity to deal with existing and new demand. It will also provide access to the NEV development and will improve pedestrian and cycling routes.
Some additional land is still required and negotiations with landowners are currently ongoing.
The works will involve making the roundabout larger and adding traffic signals. Traffic modelling tests have shown that this will provide sufficient capacity to accommodate increased levels of traffic. A signalised crossroads option was initially considered but it was demonstrated that this would not be able to accommodate NEV traffic.
The work at Gablecross will start in January 2020 and should be completed in March 2021.
A420/Eastern Access at Rowborough
A new road will be constructed under the railway line near to Acorn Bridge to allow access from the A420 to the NEV.
A420 Pedestrian/Cycling Crossing
To ensure safe and convenient access for pedestrians and cyclists from the A420 to the NEV, additional dedicated routes are needed. Options are currently being investigated for a new crossing to be erected across the A420.
Great Stall Bridge
The Great Stall Bridge will connect the NEV with the existing community. Construction of the bridge will not go ahead until after 2021.
Southern Connector Road (SCR)
This will provide a new link between the NEV and Commonhead roundabout. The two-way single carriageway will be 1.5 miles long and will be designed to avoid known areas of high archaeological interest.
To prevent rat-running the proposed junction with Wanborough Road will be designed to prevent southbound traffic on the SCR turning left towards Wanborough. It will also prevent traffic from Wanborough turning right onto the SCR.
Design options have been assessed and are subject to public consultation. The need for traffic calming in surrounding villages will continue to be assessed as development proposals come forward.
Most of the road will be built on privately-owned land and negotiations with landowners to acquire are progressing.
Detailed advance ecology surveys are being undertaken and measures will be put in place to safeguard wildlife, particularly endangered species. Part of the road crosses a flood zone and therefore drainage is an important element of the design. The Environment Agency is a key partner helping us develop flood mitigation measures.
We considered making the SCR a dual carriageway and adding a bus lane, but this would have cost an additional £10m.
The works will start in January 2020 and are due to be completed in June 2021.
Works to the west of A419
A number of junctions to the west of the A419 were identified as likely to receive an increase in traffic as a result of the NEV. The junction locations were identified as Piccadilly Roundabout, Coate Water Roundabout and Nythe Road/Oxford Junction.
Major improvement works to the Greenbridge roundabout junction were carried out as part of the programme to improve the routes into the town to keep pace with the future development of the NEV.
The improvement works saw more lanes added to the roundabout, the widening of entry and exit routes and the installation of traffic signals on all approaches. Additional pedestrian and cycle crossings were also included and a new exit from the Greenbridge retail park to reduce traffic on the roundabout was installed.