Western Relief Road vital to £8.3m Toneway project

On behalf of the two Councils: West Monkton Parish Council & Somerset County Council

A major new section of Taunton’s road network opens on Monday (July 26) paving the way for the start of a multi-million pound improvement project on the Toneway.

The Western Relief Road (WRR) in Monkton Heathfield has been built by developer Persimmon as part of the Monkton Heathfield Phase 1 Development with the aim of reducing the volume of traffic travelling through Monkton Heathfield.

Now classified as the main A3259, the WRR will provide a vital part of a diversion route for traffic while the A38 Bridgwater Road is closed to enable £8.3m of improvements to be carried out on Taunton’s Creech Castle/Toneway junction, starting next month.

West Monkton Parish Council and Somerset County Council are working together closely to encourage all road users to travel via the new WRR (A3259), between Yallands Hill and Sellicks Road, which links to the Eastern Relief Road at Bathpool , rather than to use the old section of the A3259 through the village to ensure minimum disruption for local residents.

The old route will be re-classified as a minor road and is in line to have traffic calming measures installed at a later date.

“It’s good news that the new Western Relief Road is opening, as well as getting traffic off the main road in the village, it  will support work to commence on the Toneway improvements,” said Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport.

“We’d like to thank residents of Monkton Heathfield and the parish councils for their incredible patience and support during the last 18 months, and as we enter into this new phase.

“This is a period of huge change for Taunton and we understand it’s difficult for local people and road users – the closure of the A38 while the Toneway works will present challenges.

“We’re asking road users to please plan ahead and use the official diversion which incorporates the new road – driving through the village will cause unnecessary disruption for residents, so please be considerate.”

Chairman of West Monkton Parish Council, Cllr Stuart Haskins added: “We’re delighted to see the Western Relief Road open at long last.  This new piece of highway will we hope improve the quality of life for our local residents hugely

“However, we are going through some big changes on the network which means almost as soon as it opens the road will need to be part of a major diversion.

“During the next year we’re urging road users to stick to the A Class relief roads – please don’t be tempted to rat-run around the village lanes as this is dangerous and makes life unbearable for our residents.

“We’re working with SCC Highways on a number of measures to control traffic during this time to  discourage the use of the old A3259 through the Monkton Heathfield and minor roads in the area.”

The temporary measures include:

  • A 20 mph limit between the junction of Yallands Hill/ WRR and the existing 30mph limit to the southwest of Monkton Elm Garden Centre
  • A weight limit between the junction of Yallands Hill/ WRR and the junction of the A3259 with the A38 north of the garden centre (except for access / delivery)
  • Deployment of mobile VMS on the A38 north of the junction of the A3259 with the A38 north east of the garden centre, and prior to the WRR on the A3259, to encourage use of the WRR and ERR
  • Yellow board signage to promote considerate driving
  • Deployment of Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) – potential locations need to be determined, but could be used to reinforce the 20mph limit, and could potentially also be used in Goosenford/ Mead Way and other locations as appropriate.

If you spot any anti-social driving please call 101 or visit Avon and Somerset Police’s Report It website

To report any other issues you can contact Clerk at West Monkton PC, Amy Shepherd (clerk@westmonkton.net) who will be liaising with the SCC Highways Team to report problems and identify solutions or you can email the Highways Team directly – mailto:mcountyroads-tdeane@somerset.gov.uk