Green light for new junction serving Firepool site and railway station

An important scheme to link Taunton’s Firepool Development and new railway station car park to the town’s road network with cycling provision is set to commence early next year.

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 of Firepool (which incorporates the new £11m Digital Innovation Centre), and the station’s multi-storey car park which was opened as part of a multi-million- pound regeneration of the town’s transport hub.

Somerset County Council has now agreed a contract to deliver the scheme which introduces a crossroads forming the main access to the rail station car park and enables buses to collect rail passengers directly from the station. It also provides the primary access route into the main Firepool site and importantly takes into account latest cycling infrastructure design standards.

Contractor Milestone is set to commence work on site at the end of January. It’s anticipated the project will take about five months to complete, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances.

The project is jointly funded by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Department for Transport,  Somerset County Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council.

A planning application for the proposal was approved earlier this year.

Cllr Mike Rigby, Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital, and Executive Member for Planning and Transport at SWT, said: “This development forms a vital part of our vision for the future of Taunton, one we have been working hard to deliver in partnership for a number of years and it’s great news this essential next step will soon be in place.

“This has been a complex scheme to schedule, involving different partners. We also had to factor in the Toneway Creech Castle scheme and ensure that these two important projects did not overlap.

“Accessibility for cyclists, pedestrians, vehicles and public transport is central to the Firepool development which will boost jobs and investment in Taunton, whilst ensuring people have a proper choice to use alternative, greener means of transport to support our climate change objectives for Somerset.

“Ultimately, the cycling infrastructure will link with a dedicated route for cyclists into the town centre reflecting our connectivity ambitions embedded in Taunton’s Garden Town status.”

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Submitted by Communications