Wanted: a name for Bridgwater’s new link road

The Colley Lane Southern Access Road in Bridgwater is nearing completion – now we need your help to give it a better name.

Construction of the not-so-snappily-titled CLSAR by contractors Whitemountain will be completed this autumn and provide a much-needed link between Marsh Lane and Parrett Way.

This will ease congestion along Taunton Road and Broadway as well as opening up brownfield land for development.

As the project comes to an end, the public are being asked to help choose a new, permanent name for the road.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This new road is for the people of Bridgwater, so we wanted to give them the chance to be involved with naming it.

“Clearly we need to give this hugely-important link a better name than CLSAR. We’re looking for original ideas to celebrate this – Roady McRoadface is just not going to cut it.

“So please get your thinking caps on and send in your suggestions. This is your chance to play a part in naming a piece of Bridgwater’s history.”

For inspiration, here is some information about the new road…

  • The £18.4m Colley Lane Southern Access Road (CLSAR) will be 840 metres long and provide access to the Colley Lane Industrial Estate by connecting Parrett Way to Marsh Lane.
  • The road includes two new bridges – the Crossways Bridge over the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal and the Somerset Bridge over the River Parrett which at 52 metres long is the longest single span bridge in Somerset.
  • It’s on the site of a former brick works and uses some innovative engineering solutions to overcome poor ground conditions – including the use of high density polystyrene blocks to keep the weight down.
  • Further historical information about the site near the road and its links to Bridgwater’s brick-making industry can be found below.

Or perhaps you might be inspired by another area of Bridgwater’s rich history, its people, its traditions and landmarks, or the world-famous Carnival?

All suggestions received will be carefully considered by a panel of Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Bridgwater Town Council, North Petherton Town Council and the Bridgwater Mercury.

There are certain criteria which must be met – including that the name is not already taken or easily confused with other addresses. Roads cannot be deemed as advertising and should not relate to any living individual.

A shortlist of suitable nominations will then be published and the public will be given chance to vote for their favourite which will then be adopted before the road opens.

You can take part by tweeting @TravelSomerset on Twitter, via Somerset County Council’s Facebook page, by emailing communications@somerset.gov.uk  or post your suggestion to CLSAR road naming, Communications, Somerset County Council, B3E County Hall, Taunton TA1 4DY.

Please remember to provide a brief explanation of your reasoning behind the name if needed.

The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Monday 22 July.

In the meantime, stay up to date with the latest progress reports and photographs of the road’s construction at www.clsar.co.uk or follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter for scheme updates

Historical information kindly supplied by the South West Heritage Service

Brickmaking in Bridgwater (from the Victoria County History of Somerset, vol. 6)

Brickmaking in Bridgwater dates back to 1655. There was a brick kiln at Hamp by 1708-9, another at Crowpill in the 1720s, and by the 1730s there were at least two on the riverside between them. Other brickworks established in the 1760s and 1770s included those of Samuel Glover, who exported bricks to a coal mine near Kidwelly (Carms.) and imported anthracite dust to fire his kilns. The Sealy family had a yard and kilns at Hamp before 1776, and by the early 19th century the brickyards in the neighbourhood were home to ‘a whole colony of people’

By 1823 there were three brickfields at Hamp and by 1830 a fourth, worked by John Browne and William Champion, patentees of bonded ornamented bricks. Bath brick, named for its resemblance to Bath stone, was made from the 1820s out of the mud deposited on the Parrett’s banks. Brickmaking was seasonal and wages were high in the 1830s. The firms of John Sealy, Henry James Major, and Browne and Co. were the most prominent in the 19th century, producing building brick and tiles, and the industry in 1840 was thought to employ some 1,300 workers, half of them habitually laid off in winter. About 1850 there were 16 brick and tile works within 2 miles of Bridgwater Bridge. H. J. Major employed 120 men and 100 boys in 1881. Ten local brick and tile companies made Bath bricks, used for scouring polished metal, and some 8 million were produced each year in the 1880s, increasing in the 1890s to 24 million but falling by 1900 to 17 million. Poor pay resulted in a prolonged strike in the brickyards in 1896, and exports of bricks, tiles, and Bath bricks were reduced after the First World War. New detergents destroyed the Bath brick business, and manufacture had probably ceased by 1939. New building in the town stimulated local demand for bricks and tiles, and peak production from 13 sites within the parish was reached in 1935-7. All but two of the brickyards reopened after 1945 but in the 1960s there was a rapid decline. Colthurst Symons’s yard at Castle Field was the last to close, in 1970, because the best clay was exhausted and cheaper sources were available elsewhere.

Colthurst Symons: Crossways Brick and Tile Works (mainly based on information from Brian Murless)

 Thomas Colthurst established the Crossways brickworks in Colley Lane in about 1840. In December 1857, Messrs Colthurst & Co entered into a business partnership with William Symons to form Colthurst, Symons Co. Ltd.

Symons is credited with the design of the Double Roman pantile which became the most recognisable roofing product of all the Sedgemoor tile manufacturers. Its production continued until the decline of the brick and tile industry in the the post-war years. As a result of this new partnership, it is likely that the tile manufacturing was added to the brickworks on the site around this time. The works continued in operation until the early 1960s, and substantial remains of it were found in 2017 during preparatory work for the Colley Lane Southern Access Road.  See also: https://www.somersetheritage.org.uk/record/37702

  • The £18.4m Colley Lane scheme is funded by EDF S106 contributions, housing developer S106 contributions, the DfT Productivity Investment Fund and Somerset County Council’s capital programme