One of the biggest regeneration schemes ever seen in Swindon will reach a significant milestone this weekend.
Fleming Way will close from this Sunday (4 Sep), to pave the way for a major redevelopment, which will act as a catalyst for further investment in the area.
Over the next three years, Swindon Borough Council is leading a £100m programme of investment in town centre projects to upgrade transport links, the public realm and heritage assets as well as bringing to life the 20-acre regeneration site next to Zurich’s new offices.
A key project will see the major upgrade and transformation of Fleming Way as the main gateway into the town centre creating a safer, easier to understand route into the town centre from the train station.
The work will involve:
- Building a new bus interchange
- Vastly improving public open spaces
- Introducing new cycle lane facilities that link up the main cycling routes across the town
- Creating a new green corridor by adding in more trees and bee-friendly plants
The Fleming Way subway will also be removed to make the road the same level as the town centre shopping area and The Parade. This will take place towards the end of the project to maintain easy pedestrian access into the town centre for as long as possible.
The project is due to be completed in the autumn of 2024.
Temporary bus stops and new bus diversions have been put in at the request of Swindon’s Bus Company who will be operating an alternative timetable during the works.
The current bus station next to the Tri-Centre will remain open while the Fleming Way improvements are carried out meaning Stagecoach and national bus service users will not be impacted during construction.
When the scheme is completed and the new bus interchange is operational, plans are in place to demolish the bus station with the site earmarked for the new Cultural Quarter.
Work has already begun on Fleming Way ahead of the full closure. Earlier this year Cheltenham Street car park was demolished to make way for a national bus hub and Whalebridge Junction was reconfigured to allow traffic approaching from Manchester Road to continue straight ahead into Princes Street, as well as turning left.
This project, and others in the town centre, will help to stimulate further investment in the area by increasing land values and making it more attractive for investors to bring forward new homes, offices, shops and leisure facilities.
Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Infrastructure, Transport and Planning, said: “This is one of the biggest road improvement schemes in Swindon and the benefits it will bring are important to regenerate the town centre.
“It’s important we do what we can to improve the town centre but we can only do this by making improvements to the land we do own. This includes public realm improvements and enhancements to the roads – including Fleming Way.
“This project will increase the surrounding land values, unlock the Kimmerfields regeneration site next door to Zurich’s new offices and help entice new businesses into the area.
“I’m excited to see the changes over the next two years and hope the public will be able to see its benefits too.”
Ben Power, Project Manager at Colas, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Fleming Way project on behalf of Swindon Borough Council. The transformation will unlock economic and social growth in the town centre, benefitting both businesses and the public.
“We look forward to delivering the project, working in collaboration with the Council to deliver a greener, more accessible town centre.”
To find out more about the scheme and the diversions in place during the closure, visit www.swindon.gov.uk/flemingwayimprovements. Updates, including information on temporary bus stops, will also be available from Swindon’s Bus Company.
More information about projects in the town centre can be found at www.swindon.gov.uk/towncentreregeneration