Project is a real boost for town’s economy

A vital scheme to link Taunton’s Firepool development and new station car park to the town’s road network with cycling provision has moved a step closer.

Somerset County Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council, Great Western Railway and Network Rail are working together to deliver a new junction access from Trenchard Way to the crucial development area which incorporates the new £11m Digital Innovation Centre, and the station’s multi-storey car park, opened this year as part of a multi-million-pound regeneration of the town’s transport hub.
Work commenced on the Innovation Centre this week.

A planning application has now been submitted to Somerset West and Taunton Council for the scheme, with the hope that work could begin by next spring.

The scheme introduces a crossroads that forms the main access to the rail station car park and enables buses to collect rail passengers directly from the station, as well as providing the primary access route into the main Firepool site. It also takes into account latest cycling infrastructure design standards.

“This is an important step forward for the future of Taunton and Somerset,” said Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Cllr John Woodman.

“Encouraging more people to use public transport, along with cycling and walking, by building those essential links, is vital to Somerset’s Climate Emergency Strategy; as well as providing access for motorists, our updated planning proposal makes it much easier for travellers to leave their car at home if they choose to.”

Councillor Mike Rigby, Executive Member for Planning and Transport at SWT, said:
“We are working with our partners to facilitate the delivery of key projects and infrastructure at our flagship Firepool site creating a quality scheme that makes the most of its excellent transport links and attracts growth, jobs and investment to Taunton.
“This new junction is an important next step in that process, providing improved accessibility for vehicles and public transport, while linking to a proposed dedicated route for cyclists and pedestrians through Firepool to the town centre reflecting our Garden Town status and bringing new vitality to the area.

“A further application that lays out the main Firepool Boulevard will be submitted shortly”

As the planning authority Somerset West and Taunton Council will run a statutory consultation before determining the application. You can view the plans on the SWT Council planning portal.

Submitted by Communications