Wichelstowe southern access scheme
The Wichelstowe southern access road (WSA) is located to the southwest of Swindon and crosses the M4 motorway to the east of junction 16. The scheme will provide the fourth access to the Wichelstowe development and is a requirement of the planning permission for the wider Wichelstowe site. It will help support 4,500 new homes, the new district centre and will also unlock 12.5 hectares of employment land, supporting around 2,000 new jobs.
The WSA also forms part of our vision, priorities and pledges to local people.
What is included in the scheme?
The highway infrastructure scheme will create an additional access into Wichelstowe by building a tunnel underneath the M4. This will form part of the eventual connection between Hay Lane and Wharf Road, Redposts Drive to the north and Croft Road to the east through Wichelstowe. It will connect to both Hay Lane and Wharf Road via a new roundabout on the south side.
The main function of the WSA is to provide access to Wichelstowe. It is not designed as a relief road or expected to attract large volumes of through traffic. The road will be a single carriageway, two way road.
The scheme will also include facilities for cycling and walking. This will be via the new link, providing a route across the M4 that avoids junction 16.
How the underpass will be constructed
The video below shows how the underpass will be built, while keeping traffic flowing throughout the project.
Timescales for the project
The WSA is forecast to open in Autumn 2021, allowing the next stage of the Wichelstowe development to move ahead. Construction of the underpass structure has now been completed and work is underway to excavate the underpass and build the new road below the motorway.
All associated traffic management, including a temporary 50mph speed limit, has now been removed from the M4.
Funding and cost
The Department for Transport (DfT) allocated £22.9m in funding towards the scheme via Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, with Swindon Borough Council contributing an additional £3m. Alun Griffiths Ltd has been contracted to complete the detailed design and construction of the scheme.
Effect on traffic during the works
There is expected to be very little impact on traffic along Hay Lane and Wharf Road, south of the M4, during construction as the majority of work will happen off the local highway network. There will be limited construction traffic along these roads but they will be timed to minimise the effect on motorists. Works to tie in the new roundabout to the existing road network will require traffic management.
Details of the traffic management will be published closer to the time.
All associated traffic management on the M4 has now been removed, including a temporary 50mph speed limit.
Effect on local business
There is predicted to be very little effect on local business during the work as they will not be disrupting the live network. There will be extra traffic from the construction vehicles but this will be timed to minimise any impact.
Keep up to date
Regular updates on the scheme will be available via our highways news e-newsletter. You can sign up by visiting the e-newsletter webpage.
Questions and answers
You can find the answers to any questions you may have about the Wichelstowe Southern Access (WSA) scheme, on the WSA questions and answers page.