06 Jan Marlborough Road Closure
Cllr Cathy Martyn Update:
Marlborough Road Closure – update as of Weds 5th Jan 2022 11.30am (also works to follow requiring closure of Moormead Rd)
Councillors Brian Ford, David Martyn, Jenny Jefferies (Chiseldon) & Robert Buckland MP and I have had 1 meeting with Conlon & Instalcom & Bellway, and 2 meetings with the Leader, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member at Swindon Borough Council (SBC), the second with a senior highways officer. We have tried to stop this by suggesting alternative routes, but these were refused. The Data Centre has a legal right to lay the data cables in the road and to do it in the way in which it’s being done.
As your Borough Council representatives, we believe we should have been consulted and brought into the discussions with the developers and contractors at a much earlier stage and we expect to be given details of the lessons learned to ensure that no-one is put into this position again. Here is the latest update on the issues which we’ve raised with Swindon Borough Council (SBC):
Public Bus Service
1. Registration of the revised Service 81 has been sent to the Traffic Commissioner for approval today with our support. The proposed start date is 9th January as all operational changes are made on a Sunday. SBC will confirm when the change has been approved and the timetable can be publicised.
2. Stagecoach will provide an update on their communication strategy next week, and they have been asked to ensure bus stops and buses are updated with the new timetable.
3. We have requested how SBC & the contractor will ensure that residents in Alexandra Park, Langton Park & Thorney Park are not isolated through lack of a bus service. SBC is trying to get funding agreed for a mini-bus service to cover some of the routes. We await an update.
4. Swindon’s Bus Company have no commercial school services affected by the road closure, these will run as normal.
5. The R23 from Bishopstone, Hinton Parva, Wanborough, Chiseldon, and Thorney Park to Ridgeway School will run 20 minutes earlier in the morning
6. Barnes Coaches will need to provide an additional vehicle in the afternoon as otherwise scheduling could leave Ridgeway students waiting 30-45 minutes. We await an update.
7. We are still awaiting an update on transport for those children with special educational needs.
8. SBC Education will update schools & parents directly, and also by social media.
9. SBC advise: ‘Conlon and Instalcom are doing more than they are required to do in terms of traffic management, including signage. The Council is not in a position to provide additional signage or ‘man’ the traffic management without an alternative funding stream being approved. We have asked Conlon and Instalcom to provide additional signs, specifically for Priors Hill and in Chiseldon as requested; should they agree, there may be a delay in delivery as we are now reliant on third parties. Officers will monitor the works, including the traffic management, on a daily basis.’
10. Conlon and Instalcom have confirmed to SBC that they are providing additional traffic management to mitigate vehicles trying to traverse Marlborough Road when it is closed; Officers will monitor this daily and should any operational changes be required, they will notify us as Borough Councillors.
11. SBC advise that Officers will be monitor the impact of additional journey times on a daily basis.
Impact on residents requiring health care and/or additional support:
12. As noted above, we understand journey times will vary throughout the day and when the diversion is in place SBC will monitor this on a daily basis. SBC confirmed that emergency vehicles will have full access to properties throughout the closure.
Impact on residents who have planned maintenance / construction or deliveries:
13. Access to properties will be maintained and with advance notice of any significant deliveries, Conlon have confirmed these will be accommodated. SBC advise they will monitor this closely to ensure disruption to the utility work is minimised in order that the work is completed as quickly as possible.
14. Conlon are currently discussing the detailed programme with SBC to ensure waste services can be maintained; SBC will provide an update as soon as the schedule is confirmed.
Temporary parking restrictions:
15. Marlborough Road residents will have the use of the parking in the Bellway site whilst works are undertaken.
16. Some residents have requested overnight working to reduce the closure period. SBC officers advise that whilst the contractors may be prepared to undertake overnight working, this is likely to cause significant disruption to residents due to the nature of the works and is not something they would recommend considering further at this time.
17. Some houses front the road. Ie: they have no pavement or garden, so the impact on them and their wellbeing would be considerable.
18. SBC has reviewed the programme and they have assessed the options in detail with the contractors. SBC advises that due to the multiple work areas within the closure being operational at the same time, the closure will need the full extent at all times. The installation of the cables for the Data Centre are complex and time sensitive.
19. As soon as it is safe to minimise site and ‘bring in’ the closure, SBC will instruct Conlon to do this.
20. Whilst SBC is not undertaking the works, they have agreed at our request to ask the contractor to provide weekly updates for distribution to residents.
21. Should any unforeseen issues arise, SBC will highlight this as quickly as possible. They have confirmed they will notify us of the mitigating action the contractor is undertaking to resolve these issues.
22. As your Borough Councillors, we would also post updates on fb to try to update as many people as quickly as possible.
23. The contractors have provided the following contact details for any enquiries:
Conlon Ltd – Keturah Watts – Project Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
Instalcom Ltd – Matthew Agnew – Project Manager – email@example.com
Bellway Homes – Callum Sharp – Site Agent – firstname.lastname@example.org
The emergency telephone number will be displayed on site – we haven’t been given it.
24. Enquiries to SBC can also be sent to email@example.com
Councillors Brian Ford, David Martyn, Robert Buckland MP & I remain very angry that we were left out of all discussion about this closure until the week before Christmas. We do understand the impact on residents as 3 of us are directly impacted in different ways by this closure. We are all continuing to work very hard to get answers to the issues which are still unresolved.
Moormead Road Closure
We have been advised that immediately following the completion of the works on Marlborough Road, there will be an 8 week closure of Moormead Road in the vicinity of the Three Tuns roundabout. The decision to close Moormead Road is not a decision which we have made as councillors. We do not have any details as to the extent of this closure or where it will start & finish. We’re still awaiting clarification but we believe it’s to enable the connection of the data cables at the BT site on Moormead Road. We’ve been told that vehicles will be re-routed via Perrys Lane and that also causes us major concerns which we have already raised with SBC. We have also requested an urgent meeting to discuss these concerns and the impact this will have on residents. We will post further updates as soon as we have them.
Cathy (on behalf of Councillors Brian Ford & David Martyn, the Rt Hon Sir Robert Buckland KBE QC MP)
Councillor Brian Ford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor David Martyn: email@example.com
Councillor Cathy Martyn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Buckland MP: email@example.com