Improved road safety and a safe route to school

A safe walking and cycling route between North Petherton and Bridgwater is now available after major highways works.

A new footpath and cycleway and signals at the Huntworth Roundabout have been installed in response to concerns about pedestrian safety.

The works finished in December 2016 and a formal route assessment has now found the route to be safe and appropriate. The assessment included several walks of the route and analysis of data relating to traffic flow and accidents. It also took into account a safety audit of other highways works in the area.

As the route has been assessed as safe for children to walk, temporary free school transport from North Petherton to the Robert Blake Science College in Bridgwater will end at Easter

Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “We take the safety of school children very seriously and put a temporary free bus service in place because the A38 works made the route unsafe.

“This was always temporary and now that the work is finished and the route assessed as safe, this service will come to an end. The children who used the temporary free transport will either now walk or cycle to school, or their parents will have to make alternative arrangements.

“The County Council always give at least half a term’s notice of a change like this, and in this case the notice period is far longer, so I hope the Easter deadline gives parents plenty time to decide on their future plans.

“All local authorities have a policy for when free school transport is available and to be fair to everyone we have to implement our policy consistently across the county.”

The council’s school transport policy, as required by Government, states that free transport to secondary schools is only available if the school is more than 3 miles away.

The free service that was in place before for children living more than three miles from the school continues. Spare seats on that service are offered for sale on a first come first served basis to children who live closer to the school.