As work at the Bruce Street bridges is expected to overrun into next year, South Swindon Labour councillors are calling for answers from the Conservatives.
Councillor Jim Robbins has called on the Conservative administration to detail their contingency plans to avoid gridlock in the town over the coming months, as the Bruce Street bridges work is expected to drift on to March next year, and the rescheduled Network Rail works at Greenbridge due to commence.
Despite the Swindon Borough Council saying earlier this week that the end is in sight for the Bruce Street bridges project, work is expected to continue until March, at which point the works will have overrun by six months on a 12-month project.
This is despite the Conservative Cabinet member for Transport, Dale Heenan, claiming in late August that the works were ‘running to schedule’.
Mannington & Western Councillor and Labour Shadow Lead for Transport, Jim Robbins, said: “With Network Rail restarting their work at Greenbridge as part of the Great Western Line electrification project in November, we are hugely concerned that there will be a repeat of the chaos that ensued last year.
“There are only limited places to cross the railway line in the town, and with people avoiding Bruce Street Bridges and unable to use Greenbridge, what plans have the administration put in place to keep the town running?
“Have they ensured that utilities companies won’t be able to commence work in other areas whilst these key routes are out of action? Have they got plans in place for dealing effectively with a bridge strike on the other railway crossings?
“Labour Councillors have recently proposed a permit scheme for utility companies based on a scheme used in Manchester. What progress have the Administration made on implementing such a scheme in Swindon?
“We are keen for Swindon residents and businesses to be able to move freely around the town in the run-up to Christmas, and look forward to getting firm assurances from the Tory administration in the town that they are in control of the situation.”