Site clearance work which will pave the way for major improvements to a key West Swindon route will start in a fortnight’s time.
Work to widen the northbound carriageway of Mead Way is expected to start in the autumn but, in order to facilitate the work, a number of trees and vegetation need to be removed in order to create the additional lane.
This will be done between Monday, 4 March and Tuesday, 12 March and, as a result, the road will be fully closed between The Meads roundabout andWestmead roundabout during off-peak hours between 9.30am and 3.30pm.
The Council’s grounds maintenance team will also use the closure to carry out vegetation clearance on the traffic island at The Meads roundabout.
Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to use the footway/cycleway under the management of the tree surgeons on site. Replacement trees that are more suitable to the local environment will be replanted where possible as part of the improvement work.
Last month, road users, motorists and representatives from local businesses were able to view the proposals for Mead Way courtesy of two drop-in events at the Delta Tennis Centre. The feedback received from the events has been passed on to the Council’s Highways team and principal designer for the scheme.
Detailed designs are currently being finalised but, under the scheme, two northbound lanes would be created on Mead Way between The Meads roundabout on Great Western Way and Withymead roundabout.
Westmead roundabout would be removed and replaced with a signalised junction in an effort to reduce congestion in the local area.
By creating extra capacity northbound on Mead Way it will not only help reduce queuing traffic on the road itself, but will also allow more vehicles to enter and exit The Meads roundabout helping to alleviate congestion.
Modelling for the scheme has shown an improvement in predicted journey times for drivers exiting Paddington Drive onto The Meads roundabout during the peak evening period.
The extra lane on Mead Way, which will stretch for approximately half a kilometre, will provide capacity for around 100 additional cars, improving journey times for people travelling northbound. Traffic modelling has also shown that adding signals to the Westmead roundabout, would improve southbound journey times during the morning rush hour.
Duelling Mead Way in both directions was not included in the scheme due to the constraints of the highway boundary and the high cost of buying the necessary land.
Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and the Environment, said: “We received some really good feedback from the two drop-in events we held on the Mead Way improvement scheme last month and we are currently analysing the suggestions to see if there are any improvements we can make the detailed designs.
“This next phase is a necessary part of the work so we can get everything in place for the scheme to start later in the year. We have attempted to minimise the disruption for local people and commuters by carrying out the site clearance work outside of peak hours and I would ask that people who need to travel to West Swindon to allow a little bit of extra time for their journeys while this work is carried out.”
Diversions will be in place throughout the work in two weeks’ time.