Some years ago, I submitted a letter to the County Gazette proposing the following answer to traffic movement in Taunton centre.
If one imagines, for example, coming off the motorway heading into Taunton at the Wickes’ roundabout, head along Critchards Way to the bottom end of East Reach and then go right up to the junction of East Street.
Follow the road into North Street over the main bridge at Debenhams into Bridge Street followed by Station Road; then a sharp right hand turn into Priory Bridge Road until you get to the starting point at the Wickes’s Roundabout.
If this route was made all one-way; removing all the middle of the road bollards would create an orbital route around Taunton. Traffic would have to be allowed to leave and join it at all the existing junctions – opening up the one-way roads, with intersect, to two-way.
This would elevate a lot of traffic problems that currently exist in the town centre.
Any parking on the road side would have to be selective where the route was wide enough to allow at least two lanes of traffic to flow safely in the one direction – for example East Reach could probably allow some parking on either side of the road but East Street might only allow one side to be used while North Street and Bridge Road non-at-all!
READ MORE: LETTER: ‘Taunton needs an orbital road’
Traffic coming from the direction of Wellington and wishing to head towards the motorway would be encouraged to turn left into Castle Street joining Bridge Street on the north side of the river and following the traffic.
A saving grace seen since the lockdown due to the pandemic for the commerce of Taunton has been the ‘Free Central Taunton’ parking. There are businesses that have suffered and I look at ‘Riverside Place’ with building that is going on, around this area, has probably decimated the footfall in that area, including St James’s Street.
The quicker that is completed the better!
Readers have heard me say ‘the horseless carriage’ (car) is an essential part of a shopping experience – to discourage it is to put the lid on the on the coffin of town centre shops!