Wiltshire

Plans to replace Swindon 'muggings' underpass

Underpass between Station Road and the Oasis Leisure Centre
Image caption Several violent crimes have been committed in or near the underpass in recent years

Plans have been unveiled to replace an underpass, known as a place for muggings, with a safer footbridge.

In recent years, several violent crimes have been committed in the underpass, which links Station Road and the Oasis Leisure Centre, in Swindon.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said a bid for government cash would be needed for the £10m project.

Last June a man was stabbed to death in the area and earlier this week a woman was sexually assaulted.

An attempted robbery and an assault on a woman also took place in the pass, which runs under the railway line, last year.

'Wider benefits'

A council spokesman said: "We want to put a pedestrian bridge across the rail line to connect North Star with the town centre but getting it built is linked to the wider regeneration of that area.

"The cost of building a bridge will be in excess of £10m, so we will need to put in a bid to central government for the money and show the wider benefits it will bring.

"We won't get funding for that amount simply because a bridge would be safer for users than an underpass - we have to show other reasons as well."

Conservative MP for North Swindon, Justin Tomlinson, said: "This should be a thing of the past.

"As part of the town centre regeneration we would be better off having a pedestrian bridge with visibility and access," he said.

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