A crucial upgrade of the Creech Castle Junction in Taunton is now moving forward and Somerset County Council is reminding residents and road users of the key details.
The Council signed a contract with Alun Griffiths on Friday to deliver the £8.3m scheme with work commencing on August 9. The same contractor is currently delivering the award-winning £19.2 million improvement project at M5 Junction 25 – due to be completed on time and on budget this summer.
Residents and businesses in the immediate area of the works were contacted this week with the key details and will be kept informed throughout the project with regular updates.
The Creech Castle project was postponed last year because of the pandemic, now these much-needed improvements for one of Taunton’s busiest junctions are set to be in place in the summer of 2022. You can read about the project in detail here, including a comprehensive FAQs.
The Council has developed a design to reduce congestion and improve access to Taunton by increasing the capacity of the junction. The upgrade includes significantly enhanced facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and is critical to allow continued development at Monkton Heathfield.
The scheme includes road widening and requires very significant works activities with heavy machinery and excavations in the road. Therefore, in order to keep both the workforce and travelling public safe, it will be necessary to close Bridgwater Road north of the junction in both directions for the duration of the scheme. This will affect vehicles but not pedestrians or cyclists who will have access throughout.
There will also be no right turn into Bridgwater Road south of the junction. This will be a permanent change starting from August 9.
Other alternatives were considered – including the use of temporary multi-way traffic lights instead of a road closure – but these were projected to cause much more severe disruption with long queues on the Toneway, potentially impacting on the M5.
Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said: “It’s good that we will finally see work starting on this vital project – it’s a major pinch-point coming into Taunton and these works are long overdue.
“This will improve access for vehicles but crucially, it will give much better provision for cyclists and pedestrians, making it so much easier for those walking or cycling to cross what is an incredibly busy intersection.
“We know this is a challenging scheme – we’re working closely with residents and businesses in the immediate area to support them and minimise disruption as much as possible. We will also be looking at how we can support those needing to get into Taunton for work, school or to shop.
“Ultimately this is about improving our road network for future growth and ensuring cycling and walking infrastructure is at the centre of that strategy.”
Simon Dunn, Operations Director for Alun Griffiths said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with Somerset County Council following the successful upgrade of Junction 25.
“This is another important project for Taunton and very much links in with that work.
“We have contacted those living and running businesses in the immediate area and provided contact details. We’d urge people to get in touch if they have any queries or concerns.”
You can find out more about how Somerset County Council is investing to improve the county’s highways network in a new film.
Somerset County Council looks after 4,172 miles of road and in 2020/21 filled 19,282 potholes and carried out 556 highway maintenance schemes ranging from drainage works to carriageway and footway resurfacing.