Major roundabout scheme on track to begin next month

A major scheme to build a new roundabout on the A358 at Bishops Lydeard is on track to start next month.

The roundabout will be delivered by developer Taylor Wimpey as part of a legal agreement linked to the construction of new homes in the village.

Taylor Wimpey has now appointed SWH Civils as its principal contractor and the two parties are working closely with Somerset County Council to agree a start date and programme of works.

The County Council has applied for temporary traffic orders for a 30mph speed limit and for a closure of Station Road to allow the work to take place safely. These are valid from the start of September, allowing work to begin once the detailed programming has been agreed.

Due to the busy nature of the A358 and lack of alternative routes, construction of the scheme will cause some disruption, although the County Council will be working with the developer and contractor to keep this to a minimum.

Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said: “We know the community is keen to see the new roundabout in place and we’re doing everything we can to make that happen.

“We’ll be publicising further details of the scheme once they are finalised, but for now it’s good news that Taylor Wimpey have appointed a contractor and remain on course for a September start as planned.”

Bradley Davison, Commercial Director for Taylor Wimpey said: “Following receipt of the necessary technical approvals we are pleased to be moving ahead with plans to create a new roundabout on the A358 and are keen for works to begin as soon as possible.

“As a considerate, responsible housebuilder we will ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to keep disruption to a minimum during the course of the works and will be keeping the local community updated as our plans progress.”

An SWH Civils spokesperson said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as Principal Contractor for this project. We pride ourselves on providing quality civil engineering services throughout the South West, employing a skilled, local workforce. We live in the communities in which we work so understand the need to liaise with the local community to ensure progress is achieved with the minimum of disruption.”

Roger Habgood, Executive councillor for planning and transportation at Taunton Deane Borough Council, welcomed the news. He said “This is very much a partnership project and I am pleased to hear that we are on track for a start date.

“It’s good to know SWH Civils will be undertaking the work as a South West company. I would ask drivers to be patient while the work is under way as it’s for everyone’s benefit – local residents and the many motorists who use this very busy stretch of road.”

Permission for a development on Station Road was granted by Taunton Deane Borough Council in 2011 and included a Section 106 Legal Agreement with the developer. In 2014, the County Council entered into a separate legal agreement (Section 278) with the developer to enable the highway works to go ahead.

The design works have had to evolve since discussions first began and the new roundabout plans now include the reconstruction of the underpass to make it safer for people to cross the busy road.