A bridge too far: an essay in little boxes part 24

Now I appreciate that both the planning and bridge building processes can be slow and lengthy, especially judging by how long it has taken for Blackhorse Bridge to be reconstructed. Housing development at the moment is even slower. House building on Swindon’s front garden has slowed so much recently — with little likelihood of it picking-up in the immediate future — that the developers are accepting a financial prop from the state. In those circumstances, the recent outline planning application by Arup to build a bridge over the railway line at Southleaze seems a little premature.

Outline application for the construction of a footbridge over the railway line to facilitate pedestrian access between Wichelstowe and housing/ employment areas to the west of Swindon.

The nearest employment areas in West Swindon are two miles from the westernmost extremity of East Wichel. I’m fully in favour of encouraging a healthy commute, but I suspect it will be many years before this bridge earns its keep. In the intervening period, all it’s likely to do is open up Southleaze to further vandalism.