Full text and Policies that address the challenge of more traffic
NP POLICY 5 – ACCESS ONTO THE A420 Development proposals will be supported by Transport Assessments and Travel Plans which demonstrate that car journeys will be minimised where possible and junction improvements will be delivered to ensure journey time reliability is maintained onto the A420. The highway network should facilitate appropriate access for traffic travelling to and from South Marston at peak times.
As noted above, the success of South Marston as a settlement relies on ease of access onto the A420 with adequate connectivity with the Eastern Villages south of the A420 and the Swindon urban area. It is vital that the A420 itself does not become overly congested. SBC and Highways England have been working in partnership to ensure that a comprehensive programme of highway improvements is achieved along the A419 and A420 corridors.
Nevertheless, the local community remains concerned about the ability to provide sufficient capacity along the A420 and Oxford Road and their junctions to enable ease of access from the village, as evidenced by the responses to the pre-submission draft consultation. The community must be given opportunities to understand and contribute to the ‘master plan’ for the improvements along the A420 corridor as soon as this becomes available.
In the meantime, the village supports the Local Plan proposals for improvement of the junctions at Old Vicarage Lane and Keypoint/Gablecross that address the problems identified in the JMP evidence base.
The village also supports the Local Plan proposals to improve the A420/A419 White Hart junction, the Nythe Road/Oxford Road junction and the Greenbridge roundabout and a “green bridge” from the Eastern Villages over the A419.
NP POLICY 6 – CONNECTIVITY AND PERMEABILITY A new road connection between Old Vicarage Lane and Thornhill Road will be part of the street network and serve the new housing areas. The vehicular network will allow for all new strategic housing allocations between Old Vicarage Lane and Thornhill Road to be able to access the new Village Centre without using existing village roads.
To implement the requirements of Local Plan Policy RA3 set out at 18.2, this policy expands upon the alignment and nature of the link street between Thornhill Road and Old Vicarage Lane and its connections to the new Village Centre.
This street will relieve pressure on Pound Corner, which is an inadequate T junction with limited room for improvement. Without the proposed connections, there is likely to be increased traffic on existing village roads and in particular at Pound Corner. This would be contrary to Local Plan policy and the strong and continuing concerns of the community, as evidenced by recent consultation submissions.
Further, this policy proposes connections to :
- contribute towards the creation of an integrated village
- deliver legibility through clear and logical connections from the Village Centre and development areas to the A420 junctions
- avoid creating a potential rat-run route for Rowborough traffic to reach Keypoint/Gablecross as an alternative to using the A420
- provide a route of choice for vehicles travelling from Swindon and Stratton to the Village Centre and school rather than using Pound Corner or Old Vicarage Lane
- avoid impeding access across the strategic footpath/cycleway to the secondary school and southern New Eastern Villages
- avoid creating a hard edge to the settlement or visually intrude into the anti-coalescence land area between the expanded village and the railway line.
Recent negotiations with Swindon Borough Council and developers have led to an agreed approach to delivering a road connection crossing Bridleway 4 which currently separates the majority of the new strategic housing land from the Village Centre. This is a key element in meeting the aspirations outlined in 18.12. The wording of Policy NP6 allows for alternative, less direct road connection with the Village Centre should barriers arise that prevent delivery of the crossing of the bridleway as planned.
NP POLICY 7 - ROWBOROUGH TRAFFIC: In addition to a primary access to the A420 for Rowborough at Acorn Bridge, a main access will connect the new village of Rowborough with Old Vicarage Lane to enable traffic to join the A420 at the Carpenters Arms junction. It shall be designed in such a way that it discourages traffic from Rowborough using the existing and proposed road network across South Marston Neighbourhood Plan Area as an alternative route to the A420. Should an additional access be required onto Old Vicarage Lane, this would be designed to avoid rat-running through South Marston village. No new development shall be served from Nightingale Lane or Rowborough Lane and traffic measures will be implemented to deter extraneous traffic from using these routes.
To further emphasise the importance of avoidance of rat-running, the primary access onto the A420 for Rowborough will be south east of Rowborough towards Acorn Bridge, via a new link under the railway line as specified in Local Plan Policy NC3. A secondary access will be onto Old Vicarage Lane to join the A420 via the existing railway tunnel. Traffic control measures will be introduced to manage the flow of traffic where the road narrows as it runs beneath the railway and to ensure safe exit onto the A420. Should a second access from Rowborough onto Old Vicarage Lane be required, this will be designed to avoid rat-running through South Marston village.
Nightingale and Rowborough Lanes are single lane roads in the anti-coalescence buffer between South Marston and Rowborough and lead only to footpath and bridleway connections in the Nightingale Wood area. The lack of footways on what will be important recreational routes for cycling and walking within the Eastern Villages would be adversely impacted by additional vehicle traffic. Their rural appearance and amenity should be retained and enhanced as far as is possible.