Work is due to start next week on a bus gate that will allow a new bus route to serve a Yeovil housing estate and provide links to other key destinations in the town.
The bus gate will be built to link Sandlewood Close with Hudson Road and is essential for South West Coaches to run a regular half hourly bus service between Wyndham Park and Yeovil town centre.
This will provide links to Yeovil District Hospital, Yeovil Junction and Yeovil Pen Mill train stations, Yeovil Bus Station and major supermarkets.
The bus gate can also be used by school buses to access the new primary school.
Construction of the bus gate is due to start on Monday 16 April and take around four weeks, with the new bus service likely to begin operation in early summer.
Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This is a relatively small piece of work which will make a big difference for many people on the Wyndham Park estate by providing them with a bus service for the first time.
“Drivers are reminded that this link is not a cut through for cars, but it will be available for school buses and bicycles as well as providing a very valuable second access route for the emergency services if required.”
Councillor Peter Gubbins, Chairman of Area South Committee at South Somerset District Council, added: “Providing the bus gate unlocks some of the infrastructure needs for the Wyndham Park development. Enabling buses to access the estate is a vital community service for many residents and will allow them to use the town’s facilities which will only have economic benefits for Yeovil.”
Peter Fairey, Operations Director for South West Coaches, said: “We are really pleased to now have the opportunity to serve an area of our community that has been unreachable until now.
“The 68 will provide the residents a valuable link to other areas and services throughout Yeovil and beyond. This is great news for South West Coaches as we continue to expand our service network throughout the area.”
The bus gate will work in the same way as other bus gates in Taunton and will provide access for buses, emergency services and bicycles only. It is not to be used by general traffic and any unauthorised vehicles passing through could receive a £60 fine.
There is no physical barrier – the gates use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to record the details of vehicles so that fines can be issued.
Somerset County Council does not make a profit from bus gates – any money from fines is used to pay for expenses and enforcement with any surplus reinvested in traffic management.
You can stay up to date with roadworks by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter or visit www.travelsomerset.co.uk.