A major scheme to replace some of Somerset’s oldest traffic lights starts in Ansford near Castle Cary on Monday (18 July).
The shuttle junction of the A371 Ansford Hill and Cumnock Road with Ansford Road has equipment dating back to the 1980s and is so old that it would not be possible to find parts if the traffic signals suffered a fault.
The junction also has a sign advising drivers on Ansford Road to look for a signal when turning right – an arrangement which no longer meets current standards.
To protect the safety of the workforce and the travelling public, it will be necessary to close the full section of the shuttle for the duration of the works, with the closure in place by Monday morning.
The work is expected to take around eight weeks so was planned to tie in with the school holidays as much as possible when roads are generally quieter and to avoid disruption to school transport.
Drivers are warned that as the A371 is the only A road in the area the advertised diversion route will be lengthy. The County Council has a duty to advertise a diversion route that follows the same class of road as that which is being closed. However, as with any road closure, drivers can use their own local knowledge and judgement to find their own alternatives.
Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This is important work to replace some of the oldest traffic lights in the county. We’re also looking to improve the junction to bring it in line with current standards, and make access easier and safer for local residents – something I know they have requested.
“Due to the location of the junction and the lack of alternative routes, this essential scheme is likely to be disruptive, so please be aware and plan ahead to make sure you’re not caught out on Monday morning.”
The full upgrade of the junction will incorporate Ansford Road into the traffic light phasing, and signals will also be provided for private drives along the shuttle section to make it easy and safe to residents to exit their properties.
The new traffic signals will use extra low voltage supply (ELV) and LED lights which are more energy efficient and will reduce costs. The pavement along the full extent of the works will also be resurfaced.
You can see a map of the diversion at https://roadworks.org/?tm=71776