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Chair: Paul Exell (email: phone: 01793 703276)

Membership Secretary: Sarah McDermott

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

North Swindon Councillors Did Not Lobby For Primary School Places In The North

There is, as our residents are constantly telling us, a severe shortage of primary school places in North Swindon which has resulted in :-

  • Families in Oakhurst having to send their children to Rodbourne Cheney as it is their nearest available primary school place
  • Families living two minutes away from their local primary school being told that families half that distance away from the school could not get in this year
  • Families being told that if they live more than a couple of hundred metres away from their local school they are too far away to be guaranteed a place
In light of this a Freedom of Information request was recently made to Swindon Borough Council for :

"Copies of correspondence received by Swindon Borough Councillors or Officers in support of or requesting either, additional primary places, or a new primary school in North Swindon for September 2011, 2012 or beyond . Please also provide the year groups to which these letters or emails refer."
The total input from our local councillors trying to obtain more primary school places for North Swindon was, according to SBC's own answer to the FOI -



When will we get the promised Northern Relief Road?

Northern Relief Road


The Purton/Iffley Link Road is the long proposed northern relief road that was first considered back in the nineties and still hasn’t been built despite the construction of over 10,000 homes in the Northern Development Area.  

Where will it go?  When Priory Vale was first considered the original proposal was to join the Purton Road (at the base of Thamesdown Drive) to the Iffley Road (close to the Bruce Street Bridges) by a dual carriageway.  There has since been another route considered which connects Thamesdown Drive to Barnfield near to B&Q instead.  Both of these routes would serve to ease the weight of traffic congestion in both north and west Swindon. 

How much will it cost?  There has been talk of the cost being £100 million and therefore too expensive to be built.  The honest answer is that nobody has ever properly costed the route.  To put the figures in context, the 9 miles of the Newbury bypass cost just over £100 million; the current project in Norwich for a dual carriageway of 8.7 miles is estimated at just over £90 million and the current estimate for the bypass at Bedale is £42 million (of which the local authority is paying just £6 million). 

The northern relief road has an estimated length of just 1.3 miles and no junctions.  However, getting under the Gloucester rail line will not be cheap.  Nobody will know for sure until the surveys are done but it is very likely that the stated cost of £100 million is an overestimate. 

It has never been the intention of Swindon Borough Council, or even the developers, to pay for this road.  It is a matter for central government funding and if Swindon Borough Council is going to green light all the additional houses that are continually being put forward then central government has to fund the infrastructure. 

Is it agreed?  Yes, it is agreed, all bar the paying for it.  At a recent Full Council meeting Swindon councillors made a decision to that effect.  

When will it happen?  That is a whole different question.  Everyone needs to ensure that enough pressure is applied to get the latest route of Thamesdown Drive to Great Western Way (at Barnfield) to be considered as Swindon’s number one priority for infrastructure investment.
(Presentation given by Cllr Des Moffatt at Haydon Wick Parish Council - September 2012)