The first completed signalised junction of the Yeovil Western Corridor improvement scheme is due to be switched on this week.
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. It will also support the delivery of more than 1,500 homes and 20 hectares of employment land nearby.
This week sees the commissioning of the Bluebell Roundabout – meaning the new traffic lights will be switched on and the junction will be signalised for the first time.
The junction will provide safe crossing points for pedestrians and work on a stand-alone basis until the other signalised junctions on the Yeovil Western Corridor are completed when they will all be linked up.
The new toucan crossings on Stourton Way will also be commissioned in the next couple of weeks.
Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “There’s a lot of work going on in Yeovil at the moment and we’re really starting to see the results.
“The commissioning of the Bluebell Roundabout is significant because it’s the first major piece of new infrastructure. We won’t truly see all the benefits until the full scheme is complete, but the lights will make it easier for pedestrians to cross which is why we’re commissioning now, rather than wait for all the other junctions to be complete.
“It may take some time to get used to, and we’ll be testing and fine-tuning in coming days, so please approach with care over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, contractor Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd is continuing work to build a new cycleway and retaining wall along Lufton Way and Western Avenue.
This work is being carried out in phases to minimise disruption with short sections of Lufton Way and Western Avenue closed to traffic in one direction.
The current phase requires the closure of the eastbound carriageway of Lufton Way between Preston Road (behind the crematorium) and the Preston Road (Asda) Roundabout. This is due to be completed before the end of August.
Lufton Way will then reopen and Western Avenue will be closed southbound between the Houndstone and Preston Road (Asda) Roundabouts, with traffic diverted along Lufton Way via Copse Road with advanced signage.
Drivers are also advised of changes to traffic management on two key roundabouts from next Monday (6 August), taking advantage of the school holidays when traffic flows are lighter.
Capacity will be reduced on all approaches to the Westlands Roundabout until September to allow widening works and traffic signal installation to take place.
Four-way temporary traffic lights will also be in operation overnight (7.30pm to 6am) for two weeks on the Lysander Road roundabout for drainage and ducting works. These will be removed during the day to keep traffic moving, while noise levels will be monitored at night to minimise disruption to nearby residents.
Further updates will follow. You can read the latest Yeovil Western Corridor newsletters at https://community.alungriffiths.co.uk/projects-in-your-area/yeovil-western-corridor-improvement-scheme/ or follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter for updates. 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.