How was the ‘dystopian’ Swindon allowed to happen?

Since I was a reporter for Swindon Advertiser and lived in town a long time ago than I’d like to think, I admit that I have a thing for this place,

I was visiting the city center with friends for the first time in five years and was really shocked by the state it was in. What in the world has happened, or in most cases not happened?

Boarded up shops, graffiti everywhere – including on street signs pointing to escape routes, garbage, broken glass, crumbling concrete, shouts.

I was curious to see what the area on which the Thamesdown Transport bus depot once stood, a huge construction site, looked on my last visit, now with everything that is probably finished, and how the small part of the original office building that had been incorporated stopped in the chic new development.

It seems that not even a drill was turned on – the scene was as I remembered it in 2016.

As for the area around the bus station – a strange and threatening maze of closed shops and locked entrances, what in the world would anyone who come to Swindon by bus or coach think?

As I’m interested in Brutalist architecture, I realize that there are some fine examples in the city center, especially the former Debenhams store, which is of course closed even now.

Even the grass in the median of Fleming Way was overgrown, adding to the feeling that everyone had just given up and gone.

Dystopian Swindon?

How on earth did that happen? I realized the Swindon Council wasn’t juggling its pennies too well, but come on, the town isn’t a depressed sprawl that Northern Powerhouse passed by.

But do you really want to invest after a tour of the city center?
I currently live in Peterborough, which has the honor of being officially named the UK’s best place to live in a well-known poll.

Granted, there is a beautiful cathedral, but the rest of the center also feels like Florence compared to Swindon

Please do not think that I am pointlessly critical, and none when we need negativity in the moment. There are many positive aspects of Swindon, but I am generally confused about what happened. Who could provide clarification?

Nick Larkin

Woodbyth Road


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