Next Western Corridor junctions ready for switch-on

The Yeovil Western Corridor improvement scheme is nearing completion with the switch-on of the next two junctions 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, 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 Preston Road Roundabout and Asda junction on Preston Road have now been fully upgraded with traffic signals and are due to be switched on over the course of this week.

The new traffic signals will allow queues to be balanced to reduce overall average waiting times at peak times and help the junction cope with expected growth in the future.

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “This is another major step forward in this very important scheme which will improve traffic flow and unlock land for development.

“As with the other junctions in the Western Corridor, the switch-on is the start of the process, not the end of it, and it will take a few days for us to optimise the settings. We’ll have operatives on site monitoring and adjusting the signals to ensure they are working effectively.”

The next step will be for the two new junctions to be synced together and joined up with other signalised junctions on the Western Corridor to improve overall traffic flow along this increasingly busy route.

The Western Corridor scheme remains on track for completion in June with contractors Alun Griffiths working hard on the remaining sections. These include the toucan crossings on Western Avenue and Lufton Way, the Abbey Manor cycleway and other finishing works such as landscaping.

Drainage and white lining works will be taking place on the Western Relief Road for four nights (8pm to 6am) from Tuesday 28 May, with the road closed in both directions between the Lysander Road junction and Westlands throughabout. Access will be maintained for cyclists and pedestrians with a signed diversion in place for vehicles along Preston Road.

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.

Funding

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.

The Heart of the South West LEP’s total Growth Deal is worth over £590m; including £239m from Government and £351m match funding. Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal: 2015 – 2021; HotSW LEP estimates the investment will create up to 26,930 new jobs and 18,242 new homes; over 59,000 people will be trained under this programme and over 30,000 businesses will have been supported.

“Local Growth Fund”

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.