12th April 2021

Council steps up a gear with next major transport and infrastructure projects

Somerset County Council is forging ahead with multi-million-pound projects to improve travel links and infrastructure and support the recovery of the local economy in Taunton this spring.

Despite the challenges of Covid, a major £19m scheme to boost capacity at Taunton’s M5 J25 and the A358 junction is on time and on budget. Last month saw the opening of the brand new A358 link road serving Taunton and the motorway. It’s a massive boost to jobs and investment at this critical time.

Now the focus turns to key projects at two further sites in Taunton starting in March and April.

First a £9m major overhaul of Somerset’s traffic signal system led by the same J25 team gets underway in March, in Taunton’s Rowbarton, which should improve traffic flow and give safer access for pedestrians and cyclists.

In April a £1.27m scheme, funded jointly by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Department of Transport and Somerset West and Taunton District Council, kicks off in Trenchard Way. This will improve links to the town’s key transport hub, providing new access to GWR’s multi-storey car park whilst helping to unlock the Firepool development and supporting the exciting Innovation Centre development.

Alongside these projects, work continues apace by the developer to complete the A3259 Western Relief Road, supporting residential and business growth in the area.

“We’re focussed on getting these important infrastructure projects done, alongside the soon-to-be completed work at Junction 25,”said Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development.

“These schemes are the next stage in the vital work to ensure transport infrastructure in Taunton supports economic recovery as we come out of lockdown.”

Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport added: “There will of course be an impact on local people, businesses and road users while these major projects are underway and we understand the need to do everything we can to reduce that. The team involved has significant experience in managing these issues and will ensure any disruption is minimised.

“But it’s important to remember the big picture – short term impact for the delivery of long-term infrastructure improvements which will support businesses, and economic growth for many years to come.”

Further details will be available soon on www.travelsomerset.co.uk/roadworks/ including a Q&A section on the Rowbarton signalling project.