Less buses to travel through Railway Village as new route trialled

A six-month trial starts next month, which will reduce the number of buses in Swindon’s Railway Village and the Heritage Action Zone area.

Published: Wednesday, 22nd March 2023

Railway Village bus trial

Currently, buses leaving the town centre travelling towards West Swindon go through the Railway Village, around the Mechanics’ Institute and down towards GWR Park.

More than 50 per cent of the buses that pass through the Railway Village are not used by residents who live in the area. From April, outbound buses will be redirected down Faringdon Road and Park Lane instead, cutting out the heritage area.

Following a consultation last year, Swindon Borough Council has worked closely with local bus companies to plan the trial.

Only inbound buses will now use the Railway Village. The benefits of this change will be a 50 per cent reduction in traffic around Emlyn Square, providing a quieter and safer environment for residents and passing pedestrians. It will also reduce potentially damaging vibrations to the Grade II* listed Mechanics’ Institution and damage to the road surfaces and kerbs.

The public consultation last autumn received 244 responses, 69 per cent of which supported the proposal to reroute outbound buses. Forty-one per cent of respondents, who were also bus passengers, supported relocating the bus stop outside the Bakers Cafe in Emlyn Square and 44 per cent supported relocating the Church Place bus stop to Park Lane.

The results of the trial will be reviewed in the autumn to decide whether the new routes can be made permanent.

Councillor Matty Courtliff, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Leisure and Town Centre Experience, said: “It’s important we make this amazing historical location a safe and welcoming place to live, work and visit and this change is a big step towards that.

“Not only will it help to improve the conditions of our historic buildings, but it will also provide a safer, and quieter, environment for everyone living in the area.

“While I can appreciate this decision might cause some concern for those living in the Railway Village, rest assured this change can be a benefit to everyone.

“The bus stops for outbound buses are only moving a short distance away to ensure that these bus services can still be accessed by those who use it.”

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