The first turf has been cut to mark the official start of work on vital road improvements on the western side of Yeovil.
Cllr David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council, was joined by representatives from South Somerset District Council, the Heart of the SW Local Enterprise Partnership, Yeovil Chamber, and contractor Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd for a short symbolic ceremony on Wednesday morning.
The Western Corridor scheme is a multi-million pound package of improvements by Somerset County Council to increase the capacity of several junctions and upgrade links for pedestrians and cyclists.
The scheme will also support the delivery of more than 1,500 homes and 20 hectares of employment land nearby.
Cllr Fothergill said: “The turf cutting is a big moment for Yeovil as it represents the official start of key improvements which are critical to the town’s future prosperity.
“We’ve worked hard over many years to identify a suitable scheme, prove the benefits and secure funding. Now we are just getting on and building it.”
Cllr Jo Roundell Greene, SSDC’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “I am delighted to see this major project getting underway. Once complete it will open up the road network and benefit the new developments along the Western Corridor and the future of Yeovil. A great deal of time and money is going into the new road and SSDC are most grateful to all the partners who have worked so hard to make this happen.”
Steve Hindley CBE DL, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Another one of our Growth Deal funded projects is getting off the ground, it’s great to see such progress. This work will open up development land for business and housing, as well as improving the strategic transport network in our area, so it’s an ideal project to be part-funded by the LEP.”
A spokesman for Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Somerset County Council and Somerset District District Council to deliver the planned improvements on the Western Corridor of Yeovil. We will work considerately with the community and do our best to minimise disruption to road users during the various construction phases of the programme.”
Initial preparatory works will take place off the carriageway and cause minimal disruption with the main routes into Yeovil kept clear in the run-up to Christmas.
Throughout the construction period, the aim is to keep traffic moving as much as possible. This means the contractor will widen the road first and form temporary lanes to direct traffic through the site – temporary traffic lights will only be used when there is no other option.
The public can find out more about the plans, meet the teams and ask questions about what the work involves at pre-construction drop-in events for residents and businesses next week.
RESIDENTS – Monday 6 November between 3pm to 7pm at The Parish Room, Abbey Community Centre, Abbey Manor Park.
BUSINESSES – Wednesday 8 November between 3pm to 7pm at the conference suite (first floor of the main stand) at Yeovil Town Football Club.
You can stay up to date with progress by visiting https://community.alungriffiths.co.uk/projects-in-your-area/yeovil-western-corridor-improvement-scheme/ or follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter. More information on the background to the scheme can be found at www.travelsomerset.co.uk/westerncorridor.
- The Western Corridor scheme is expected to cost approximately £14.5m with £6.49m provided by the Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Deal fund, approximately £5m from developer contributions through signed Section 106 agreements and approximately £3m from Somerset County Council’s Capital Fund.