Transport report – February

There are some changes in the pipeline for Bus Service 80 (Swindon, Marlborough, Tidworth, Ludgershall). With effect from 31st January there will be a new timetable with the same number of services but spread out further across the day. Please pick up a leaflet from the Stagecoach office or look on the Stagecoach West website. This bus connects with the X5 in Marlborough – the X5 arrives at 18.51 and the 80 leaves at 18.55, so you can come back from Salisbury on the 17.20 service.

Wiltshire Council is reviewing its subsidised bus service and would like your views. You can pick up a leaflet from any Wiltshire library or visit their website. The proposals are:

  • to reduce the X5 day time services to one every two hours
  • Service 80 to be two or three buses a day
  • The withdrawal of the X5 evening service and the 70A and the 72A evening service, as well as Sunday services.

If these changes are made they will take effect from April 2017.

There is a proposal for an £850K scheme to improve Havelock Square, behind the Brunel Shopping Centre in Swindon. A resurfacing scheme is to go ahead at the end of January for Croft Road and the major parts of Old Town. The Wyvern multi-storey carpark is being demolished whilst the multi-storey at the back of the bus station is now finished and buses can enter the station as before.

The High Street in Marlborough has gas work taking place, limiting car parking in the middle of the road. The roadworks at Greenbridge and Bruce Street Bridges are also continuing, although a new railway bridge was successfully installed at Greenbridge over the Christmas period.

Rail fares increased in January by 1.1%. Fares rise each year but there does not appear to be much improvement in the service. It’s worth noting that fares from Pewsey, Bedwyn and Hungerford to London are much cheaper than the Swindon to London line, and Pewsey station has recently been refurbished.

The famous Flying Scotsman will be in our area during May. It will be at Salisbury Station on the 21st May and Swindon Station on the 28th May. Also, the hooter on the old railway works (at the Outlet Village) will be sounded again in March- to mark 30 years since the closure of the Swindon Works.

Cllr David Hill
Chiseldon Parish Council

Priority services during power cuts

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) now has a Priority Services Register for anyone who needs extra support in the event of a power cut. The service is free to join and operates 24 hours a day.

You are eligible if you are:

  • Dependant on electricity for home care or medical treatment
  • Suffering from a chronic illness or recovering from surgery
  • Disabled
  • Someone with special communication needs – blind, partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing
  • A parent with a young baby
  • In receipt of a state pension.

Once registered you will receive priority updates during any power cuts and will be advised by telephone if your power needs to be switched off for maintenance work to take place. If you prefer you can nominate someone to act on your behalf and information can also be provided in Braille or on audio CD.

In addition, service users have access to a welfare vehicle supplying warm meals, hot drinks and charging points – as well as portable generators for those with critical needs.

For more information please call 0800 294 3259. If you are using a mobile you can call 0345 072 1900, or dial 0800 316 5457 for a text phone service. You can also register online at: www.ssepd.co.uk/PriorityServicesRegistrationForm

Home Library Service

Swindon Libraries offer a Home Library Service for people who can’t get to their local library, for mobility or health reasons.

The Service, run by the RVS and other volunteeers, can be long term or temporary (depending on individual needs) and is tailored to your reading preferences.

To find out more please ring Anish Harrison on 01793 465495 and leave a message.

Conservation work

If you would like to help conserve the countryside that surrounds our Parish then there are two opportunities to do so in the coming weeks.

The first is a Washpool workday, taking place on Sunday 17 January between 10am and 3pm. If you can spare half an hour or more then the Washpool team will provide tools and guidance (as well as tea and cake) and you can help to prepare this beautiful valley for the arrival of spring. All ages are welcome and little ones will have the chance to say hello to the resident sheep.

The second conservation event is a Friends of the Railway Path workday on Sunday 24th January, starting at 10am. The Group will be working between the motorway and Chiseldon and will meet on the stretch of path beside the M4 (Chiseldon side). Volunteers are asked to bring their own refreshments but tools and instruction will be provided.

Water and wastewater systems

Due to the large amount of rainfall over the past few weeks, the local water table is very high. As a result there have been a number of cases of water overflowing from beneath manhole covers.

Thames Water has set up a Freephone number to report any such problems. To report an incident please call 0800 009 3964 giving the postcode and street name and Thames Water will come out and do any necessary work to rectify the situation.

Thank you.

Christmas opening hours and new Parish Clerk

The Parish Office (in the Old Chapel, Butts Road) will be open on:

  • Monday 21 December (from 9.30am to 1pm)
  • Wednesday 23 December (from 9.30am to 1pm)

The office will then be closed until Wednesday 6 January, when Clair Wilkinson will be taking over as our new Parish Clerk. Clair’s opening hours, from January onwards, will be:

  • Wednesdays (from 8.30am to 12noon)
  • Thursdays (from 8.30am to 12noon)
  • Fridays (from 8.30am to 11.30am)

Thanks for all of your support during my time as Clerk and Merry Christmas!

Claire Maycock

Waste collections over the Christmas period

The following notices have been received from Swindon Borough Council.

Residents due to have a collection of plastic on Monday 28 December should store these items until the next scheduled collection in January 2016.

Recycling boxes will be collected between Tuesday 29 December and Saturday 2 January.

Refuse bins will be collected on either Wednesday 30 December or Thursday 31 December.

Green waste collections will resume on Monday 11 January 2016. Real Christmas trees should be left out for recycling from this date.

Dog bins (which the Parish Council provide) will continue to be emptied every Monday throughout the holiday season.

Transport update

The Parish Council is still trying to get a new bus stop at Coate Village/Badbury Park but the junctions, off the Marlborough Road, have not yet been adopted by Swindon Highways. Watch this space for further news.

Bus users with concessionary pass cards will not be issued with a ticket on Thamesdown buses. This means that no operators issue a ticket for the concessionary pass scheme.

If you are due to travel by train on Christmas Eve, please check your journey, as the rail network will be closing early to prepare for the Crossrail works over the Christmas period and into the new year.

Last month two old type steam locos were moved from York to the Steam Museum in Swindon for the anniversary of Swindon Works, next year. They were 6000, King George V and City of Truro 3717.

Most of the roadworks will stop over the Christmas holidays. This should make for easier travelling in and around Swindon.

New rail timetables are available from the railway station in Swindon, with effect from 13/12/2015.

In the last month, both Thamesdown and Stagecoach West have launched new websites. The Thamesdown one is very useful, you can look at it and see which of the bus services have problems and work out where the heavy traffic is likely to be in Swindon.

The following list shows buses running on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve:

Swindon-Marlborough
Service 80 = 17.30 X5 = 17.45 and 18.40 Service 8 = 18.35 to Chiseldon Service T/T 70A = 19.30

Marlborough- Swindon
Service X5 = 16.53 and 17.53 Service 80 = 18.28 and 19.23
Service 8 from Chiseldon = 18.57 Service 70A = 20.15

Throughout the Bank Holiday Stagecoach 5 will operate a Sunday service with the exception of 25th and 26th December and 1st January.

We would like to thank the three bus companies, Network Rail, GWR railways and the Highway Departments of Swindon and Wiltshire Councils for the information received for these reports throughout the year. We would also like to thank everyone for their feedback and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Cllr David Hill Chiseldon Parish Council

Place walks – January 2016

The group of residents working on a new Parish Plan will be running two more place walks in January. These walks are designed to help residents point out any areas of particular concern, as well as highlighting the things people value about village life. The details are as follows:

  • Saturday 23 January, meet at 2pm outside the Calley Arms to walk Hodson
  • Sunday 24 January, meet at 2pm outside Holy Cross Church Hall to walk Chiseldon