It is difficult sometimes to understand the reasoning of those running consultations for Swindon Borough Council. For the consultation on the North Swindon Transport Strategy, which is actually about transport between North Swindon and the town centre, of the three days Halcrow have selected for exhibitions, the only one at a time when many will be able to attend (i.e. at the weekend) is in North Swindon. The exhibitions in the areas most affected by the proposals (Gorse Hill and West Swindon) were on ‘working’ days. Not that the strategy actually seems to amount to much: the only major proposal is two extend Thamesdown Drive along a line near to the River Ray to a junction with Great Western Way, and the whole strategy is dependent on the government contributing £100 million. Perhaps those stuck in the jams should consider hitching a lift on the back of one of the pigs flying overhead.
It’s nice to see that the BBC can still be quick off the mark and first with the news. Over a month after it was reported in the Adver and commented on here, the Beeb has finally caught up on the work being done by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to improve access to the River Ray and modify the local environment for the benefit of riverside wildlife. The work started yesterday, but the news release from a month ago is unchanged. Some of Jo Sayers’ comments from that news release which the Beeb quotes now have a certain irony to them now that they didn’t have a month ago when quoted by the Adver.
At the moment, in some places the river is so overgrown that people can’t even see it.
Recently, some would say we’ve been seeing rather too much of the river.
So I exaggerate a little: Swindon is neither sunny (as I write, ’tis raining outside) nor by the sea; but my exaggeration is only slightly more than that of Anna Mansell of The Adver.
SWINDON may be a somewhat land-locked town, but residents will soon be able to bask on a beautiful beach…. A sweeping bend will be created on the river at Rivermead, and the beach will be installed giving visitors a place to sit and enjoy the scene and animal life sights.
I don’t think ‘basking’ is quite what the Swindon Water for Wildlife River Ray restoration project has in mind, as becomes clear later in the article.
This big sweeping bend will provide a shallow, graded gravel beach which will provide a community focus in the area where people can come and enjoy the river, sit and contemplate, or dip their dogs.
No hint of basking there. More a case of taking cover as a flotilla of soggy dogs shake themselves dry.