The Yeovil Western Corridor improvement scheme is set to reach another landmark next week with the switch-on of the new upgraded Copse Road junction.
The Western Corridor scheme is a multi-million pound package of improvements by Somerset County Council to increase the capacity of several junctions, reduce congestion and upgrade links for pedestrians and cyclists. It aims to accommodate projected increases in traffic and will also support more than 1,500 homes and 20 hectares of employment land nearby.
The Copse Road junction has now been fully upgraded to a signalised junction and is due to be switched on next week (exact timings to be confirmed).
Traffic movements through this junction are tidal – that means there are long queues heading into the Lufton Trading Estate during the morning peak and long queues exiting the estate in the evening.
The new traffic signals will allow these queues to be balanced to reduce overall average waiting times at peak times.
Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The Western Corridor improvement scheme is all about making sure our road system can cope with ever increasing levels of traffic.
“This is a growing part of Yeovil with more homes and businesses already approved, so the pressure on the Copse Road junction will continue to increase and doing nothing was not an option. This upgrade will make a real difference in helping reduce waiting times during peak times.”
Once switched on the junction will be monitored and adjusted over the next few weeks. It will also work on a temporary set-up due to the ongoing one-way closure on Western Avenue for the construction of the new cycleway. The full benefits of the upgrade will not be realised until traffic flows on Western Avenue are back to normal and the rest of the Western Corridor improvements are complete.
The focus of the overall scheme will then turn to the Preston Road (Asda) Roundabout and the Asda junction.
This will involve a package of overnight works to minimise disruption as much as possible.
Starting on Monday 11 March, the only access through the roundabout between 8pm and 5.30am will be between Bunford Lane and Lufton Way (see drawing). Traffic movements between these two arms of the roundabout will be controlled by temporary traffic lights.
The permanent traffic lights on the Bluebell Roundabout will also be temporarily switched off while the temporary lights are in place.
Access to Asda will be maintained from Preston Road. However, once the store closes at midnight, the closure will be extended to St James Park until 5.30am.
This will allow contractors to remove the existing roundabout and carry out the necessary drainage and ducting works ready for the new road layout.
While night works are underway the one-way closure on Western Avenue will be removed but will return during the day.
The overnight closures are expected to take around six weeks and will be followed by further overnight works involving the use of temporary multi-way traffic lights. Further details of this phase will be published in due course.
You can read the latest Yeovil Western Corridor newsletters with details of current traffic management and future plans 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.