Council drives multi-million pound road schemes forward

Somerset County Council’s commitment to investment is stepping up a gear this summer with delivery of vital road improvement schemes.  

In recent weeks the County Council has confirmed plans to invest £10m on public health initiatives and £6m on economic development to kickstart Somerset’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.  

Now the focus turns to infrastructure, with works due to start on an £8.3m improvement scheme to upgrade the busy Creech Castle junction in Taunton. This is the next phase of a major programme of investment which includes the award-winning £19m revamp of the M5 Junction 25 – due to complete on time and on budget later this summer.   In addition, work starts in Yeovil in the autumn on the next phase of a £9m programme to replace and upgrade outdated traffic light systems across Somerset.  

The Creech Castle project was originally due to start in the spring of 2020 but was deferred due to the coronavirus crisis and will now start on 9 August. You can read more about the scheme here.  

“We have a fantastic track record of attracting huge Government investment to Somerset and of delivering major infrastructure projects on time and on budget,” said Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport.

“It’s really positive to be able to get this work started after the challenge of the last 15 months.  
“We recognise the Creech Castle scheme will be challenging to deliver, which is why we are getting in contact with residents and businesses individually over the coming days to help support them and minimise the impact.    

“We’ll also be looking at ways to support businesses in town and those travelling to Taunton while these vital works are taking place.  
“It’s important to remember the big picture. Doing nothing just isn’t an option. This is about supporting growth, job creation and future prosperity by investing hugely in our transport network.  

“And this isn’t just about car users. The project at Creech Castle offers vastly improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, as does the remodelled Junction 25 and we are developing a programme of investment in cycling infrastructure across the County.  

“Now more than ever, as we face the challenges of climate change and a growing population, enabling the choice of and encouraging alternative modes of transport is crucial.”  

Another project key to improving Taunton’s road network is the developer-delivered A3259 Western Relief Road at Monkton Heathfield. This is progressing well and is programmed to be opened to vehicles at the end of next month – before the works start at Creech Castle.  

Meanwhile, the £9m traffic signal refurbishment programme moves to Yeovil in the autumn, starting in Lysander Road. It’s the next stage in a major programme of essential infrastructure investment which commenced in the spring in Taunton, and will continue throughout the rest of Somerset later this year and early next year.  

You can find out more about how Somerset County Council is investing to improve the county’s highways network in a new film. (above).

For more information on roadworks, live traffic and major projects visit http://www.travelsomerset.co.uk and follow @travelsomerset on Twitter and Facebook.

Submitted by Communications