Traffic lights upgrade in Rowbarton, Taunton, starts tomorrow

A MAJOR upgrade of traffic lights in an area of Taunton will ensure infrastructure is in place to support the recovery of the local economy.

The lights scheme at junctions and pedestrian crossings in Rowbarton is part of Somerset County Council’s £9 million countywide package of work over the next three years to refurbish signal equipment coming to the end of its working life.

The council’s contractor Griffiths is starting work on March 22 to remove old equipment and install new state-of-the-art traffic signals, including improved provision for cyclists and pedestrians at Kingston Road/Greenway Road, Kingston Road/St Andrew’s Road, and Cheddon Road/Priorswood Road. Pedestrian crossings on Kingston Road are also being renewed, and improved.

The existing signals have been in use for about 40 years and are in a state of disrepair and need replacing as soon as possible.

The new signals will be more efficient, more eco-friendly and should improve traffic flow while providing safer access for both cyclists and pedestrians.

The scheme is expected to take about 17 weeks to complete.

The work in Rowbarton will impact on residents, businesses and road users, but the council’s highways team is working closely with the contractor on a detailed traffic management plan.

The plan will include temporary traffic signals and lane closures. There will also be times when road closures are required but these will be kept to a minimum.

“This signal refurbishment is essential as we work to ensure infrastructure is in place to support the recovery of the local economy as we emerge from lockdown,” said Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport.

“The new signals will mean these junctions are more efficient for motorists, and safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“This is a significant piece of work at very busy junctions and regrettably this will cause some inconvenience, but ultimately it will improve connectivity for all road users. We’d encourage motorists to start planning ahead for when the scheme does commence and perhaps avoid this area whenever possible.”

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • All existing traffic signals will be fully refurbished – underground infrastructure which carries cables must be dug up and removed, along with new poles, and updated equipment installed which is user friendly, including for those who are visually impaired.
  • Overall this should improve traffic flow in this area of town.
  • The new signals and controls are low voltage and eco-friendly in line with Somerset’s Climate Emergency Strategy.
  • Kingston Road/Greenway Road – new crossing.
  • Kingston Road/St Andrews Road – improved pedestrian crossing and cycling facilities.
  • Priorswood Road/Cheddon Road – new crossing, better provision for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • There will be wider, improved access to the Rowbarton pelican crossings on Kingston Road.

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