Bus companies give thumbs up to Regent Circus bus corridor improvements
Swindon’s two main bus companies have praised a scheme which will improve bus journeys through the town centre.Published: Friday, 23rd November 2018
Work to create a continuous bus lane from the eastern end of Commercial Road through to Princes Street was completed earlier this month and forms part of the Quality Bus Corridor between Wichelstowe and the town centre via Old Town and Mannington.
The improvements to Regent Circus included the widening and repaving of the existing footpaths on both sides of the road, new bus shelters, new and enhanced street lighting and the installation of soft landscaping in the shape of planters.
The scheme, which was informed by two public consultations, has been funded by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund and is part of £3m of improvements to the Swindon’s sustainable transport network linking Wichelstowe to the town centre.
Nick Small, Stagecoach’s Head of Strategic Development and the Built Environment (South), said: “Stagecoach is very pleased that both bus movements and passenger facilities have been significantly improved at Regent Circus. This is a good example of how relatively focused but carefully considered actions can have a substantial positive impact on the attractiveness and efficiency of bus services. The project arose from the opportunity identified by both major bus operators.
“We are keen to continue to work in partnership with Swindon Borough Council to identify and secure further opportunities to make bus services a more attractive and convenient option for Swindon’s residents and visitors, as it is clearly not possible to create sufficient road space to accommodate all the potential demands for additional car use as the town develops as planned.”
Alex Chutter, general manager of Swindon’s Bus Company, said: “We’re pleased the Regent Circus Improvement Scheme - incorporating a new and improved bus gateway in Swindon - is now complete.
“This is good news as buses provide the perfect solution to the twin problems of traffic congestion and poor air quality. The local authority has worked hard to deliver these latest enhancements, and I expect them to be well received by those living and working in the town.”
The Council has also made improvements to the drainage in the Regent Circus area and resurfaced the existing road.
Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and the Environment, said: “Regent Circus is a busy part of the bus network with almost 40 buses an hour using the stops at peak times.
“The funding from Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership has enabled us to carry out improvements that will make a real difference to bus users in terms of both the environment and the reliability of services.
“I must say I think the whole area looks fantastic and we now have a modern, bright area of town that is in keeping with the regeneration we have seen in the local area over the last few years.”
The Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future.
“This £3m investment from the Local Growth Fund to enhance Swindon’s infrastructure and reduce travel times will deliver real benefits not just for Swindon but for the whole of Wiltshire’s economy.”
John Mortimer, Chairman of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Enabling a well-connected, reliable and resilient transport system to support economic and planned development growth is one of the investment priorities for the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).
“Good connectivity is essential and with the completion of this vital investment in our infrastructure, Swindon residents and visitors will have much easier journeys into and around Swindon.”
Members of the public can keep up to date with improvements to Swindon’s highway network by subscribing to the Council’s Highways News e-newsletter. Residents can subscribe via: www.swindon.gov.uk/newsletter