Improvements to increase traffic capacity and provide safer cycling and pedestrian routes at the Huntworth Roundabout in Bridgwater are set to go ahead in October.
Once complete, the improvements will see capacity at the roundabout increased and traffic lights introduced to ease congestion and delays at peak times.
The new technology will also enable the control of queue lengths on the link between the roundabout and the M5 Junction 24, minimising the risk of queues backing up to the motorway junction as much as possible.
The works will also include a signalised crossing of Taunton Road on the roundabout’s northern arm, which will unlock the Bridgwater Gateway site by connecting the development to residential areas of the town.
Improvements to pedestrian and cycle facilities will also be undertaken which will link to The Bridgwater Way works at North Petherton to provide a safe connection to Bridgwater town centre. The current Bridgwater Way scheme will be completed prior to the Huntworth Roundabout works starting to minimise disruption as much as possible.
It is expected that the works will be complete by end of May 2016 and will require lane closures to ensure that the works can be undertaken safely whilst maintaining traffic flows through the works.
The works will be ongoing during the Bridgwater and North Petherton Carnivals but measures will be undertaken to ensure that the impact of these construction works are minimised on these important local events.
Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Huntworth is a key gateway to Bridgwater and this work will help tackle congestion as well as improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.
“The long-term benefits of the scheme will be felt for years to come. However, I accept and apologise that this scheme may cause some disruption in the short-term. We will continue to talk to local residents and businesses and listen to their feedback. The target start date for the works is week commencing 19 October.”
Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, said: “This is further investment in Bridgwater and further evidence of our continued commitment to upgrade infrastructure at a time of significant growth and prosperity in the Sedgemoor area.
“The works will mean that businesses can now occupy the important Gateway site, a development set to bring many opportunities to the area.”
A spokesperson for Sedgemoor District Council said: “Sedgemoor staff and members have been working hard alongside Somerset County Council and local developers in order to find solutions to ensure this scheme can get underway and provide significant long term benefits for the town. The improvements to Huntworth roundabout are important to enable and support growth in Bridgwater and increase the capacity and safety of this key entrance to the town.
“In particular these works will open up the Bridgwater Gateway site, which will provide significant job growth and provides a platform to support the supply chain in EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C project.
“This news also provides clarity to the overall scheme delivery programme which has been a concern for the local community and Councils will work together to continue to ensure management of the works minimises disruption, to keep traffic moving.”
For more information on the scheme and to watch a short video on why the works are needed and how the traffic will be managed, please visit: www.somerset.gov.uk/huntworth