In order to create wider pavements for social distancing, Wiltshire Council will be erecting red and white stick bollards from Phase Eight to The Marlborough Bike Company on the corner on Kingsbury Street, together with pavement ramps.
While the High Street has benefitted from pavement widening in several places to allow for social distancing this has not, until now, been extended to the bottom part of Kingsbury Street. The very narrow pavements, together with queues of people building up for Chris’s Barber Shop and The Marlborough Bike Company have meant that it is impossible to social distance in this area of town without stepping into the road.
Wiltshire Council Highway Engineers assessing the situation believe that their solution will still allow for two way traffic down the narrow stretch of road which is on the Swindon bus route.
At the Town Council Meeting on Monday October 26, many councillors expressed dismay about the safety issues arising from the scheme. Cllr Hillier commented, “I’m all for social distancing but not at the expense of traffic and public safety.”
Cllr Ross said, “This is a scheme on a bit of paper that isn’t going to work out practically.”
However, John Joel from The Marlborough Bike Company welcomed the scheme. “The risk of people standing outside my shop door being hit by vehicles has been a concern and a mid-lockdown nightmare. There have been so many near misses. The bollards would stop vehicles mounting the pavement. However, this is a short term temporary solution. I’m in favour of a one-way system.”
Cllr Mervyn Hall stated, “We have to trust the Highway Engineers who have approved this scheme. We should try it out. It would make it safer than it is at present. The cost of £15,000 to create a one-way system made it prohibitive.”
Councillors agreed that in the long term there needs to be a solution to protect the safety of the pubic in that area.