Client: Highways Agency with Alfred McAlpine and Mouchel Parkman
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire
The A419/A417 trunk road is a key route for traffic travelling between the M4 (Swindon) and M5 (Gloucester). Improvements were proposed by the Highways Agency for Commonhead Junction to the south east of Swindon and the village of Blunsdon to the north east of Swindon.
The Blunsdon bypass proposals were for a new 3.5km dual carriageway road to the west of Blunsdon village with the grade separation of the existing Turnpike Junction. The scheme was needed to reduce congestion, improve safety and reduce the existing severance caused by the A419 in this area.
The Commonhead Junction improvement proposals were for the grade separation of the existing junction with a 1.8km dual carriageway overpass. Again, the scheme was required to reduce congestion and improve safety.
Nicholas Pearson Associates were part of the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) team and progressed the schemes through the Stage 3 assessment. This has included environmental inputs to the scheme option assessments and the production of the final environmental scheme design. We co-ordinated and undertook site surveys and assessments including, landscape assessments, ecological surveys, archaeological investigations, noise monitoring, water quality sampling and Rights of Way assessments.
We produced individual Environmental Statements for the two schemes and undertook the GOMMMs (webTAG) assessments. We provided input to and attended many public exhibitions and meetings and undertook consultations with both statutory and non statutory consultees. A public inquiry was not required for the Commonhead scheme but was held for Blunsdon Bypass due principally to compulsory purchase orders. We provided expert witnesses for this Inquiry.
Both schemes are now operational and we monitored environmental impacts during construction – including the construction of an artificial badger sett – and now carry out inspections of the planting and other environmental mitigation measures.