Work on £21million Taunton distributor road could start in six weeks

The route the road will take

The route the road will take

First published in News Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

WORK on a £21million road aimed at reducing congestion in Taunton could start in six weeks after a Government inspector approved the scheme.

The Taunton Northern Inner Distributor Road will link the north of the town to Firepool and the former cattle market site, and is hoped to relieve traffic hotspots around Greenway Road and Priorswood Road.

The scheme has attracted controversy and was the subject of a planning inquiry last year.

However, in his report published this week, Planning Inspector Martin Whitehead said the scheme is in the public interest and any concerns “do not outweigh” the benefits of the road.

Taunton Deane Council leader Cllr John Williams said: “This is the best possible news, and means we can continue planning and investing for the future.”

Funding for the project is being split between the Department for Transport, which is forking out £15million, developers (£4million) and Somerset County Council (£2million).

The scheme involves building a 1.6km road, creating a junction at Chip Lane/Staplegrove Road, and building a bridge over the River Tone and the canal at Priory Fields Retail Park.

The former rail bridge over Station Road, north of Whitehall, and the existing footbridge over the railway at Chip Lane will be replaced, and extra pedestrian and cycle facilities will be added.

The report said journey times through the town centre will be much more reliable and reduced by two to three minutes.

Some of the objections against the road had included extra noise, traffic, pollution and inadequate cyclist safety.

The road would be the first part of a wider revamp of Firepool which would use a seven-hectare site to create 6,000 jobs, 400 apartments, 500,000sq m of office space, shops and cafés.

County council leader Cllr John Osman said: “I’m delighted it’s so close to becoming a reality.

“There’s still a lot of hard work ahead, but it does mean we’ll be able to unlock more of Taunton’s potential.”

What are your thoughts on the developments? Let us know.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:41pm Thu 17 Jan 13

swjoduk says...

Good news for Taunton but about time the Colley Lane Distributor road was built in Bridgwater instead of continually delayed.

It would also be good to see a southern distributor road in Taunton one day from Sherford to Killams/Shoreditch Road. Either end is there it just needs joining up in the middle.

To get to Blackbrook, the M5 and Holway areas etc from Trull, Comeytrowe, Galmington etc you either have to go through town or head out towards Pitminster/Corfe and use Duddlestone Lane or Green Lane.
Good news for Taunton but about time the Colley Lane Distributor road was built in Bridgwater instead of continually delayed. It would also be good to see a southern distributor road in Taunton one day from Sherford to Killams/Shoreditch Road. Either end is there it just needs joining up in the middle. To get to Blackbrook, the M5 and Holway areas etc from Trull, Comeytrowe, Galmington etc you either have to go through town or head out towards Pitminster/Corfe and use Duddlestone Lane or Green Lane. swjoduk
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Fri 18 Jan 13

FreeSpeech? says...

Can't wait to see how many sets of traffic signals, crossings and any other obstacles they can think off to slow the traffic down and of course allow certain people to pocket the back handers for throwing the business the suppliers way. Perhaps if they have some spare tarmac they could fill up the pot holes on Cheddon Rd as they're getting bigger by the day.
Can't wait to see how many sets of traffic signals, crossings and any other obstacles they can think off to slow the traffic down and of course allow certain people to pocket the back handers for throwing the business the suppliers way. Perhaps if they have some spare tarmac they could fill up the pot holes on Cheddon Rd as they're getting bigger by the day. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Jamesey says...

This is great news. Hopefully it will relieve some traffic congestion and encourage development along the route.
This is great news. Hopefully it will relieve some traffic congestion and encourage development along the route. Jamesey
  • Score: 0

3:03pm Sun 20 Jan 13

boliston says...

This is definitely good news as it will take heavy traffic away from the narrow section of Staplegrove Road between Chip Lane and French Weir and also take traffic away from Greenway Road & Priorswood Road which are largely residential roads with many parked cars. It also makes use of existing brownfield land and cannot be compared to unnecessarily driving a road though the Vivary Green belt. I'm a bit baffled by the "cyclist safety" issue as the main danger for cyclists are roundabouts, so the simple answer is to replace them with proper signalled junctions instead.
This is definitely good news as it will take heavy traffic away from the narrow section of Staplegrove Road between Chip Lane and French Weir and also take traffic away from Greenway Road & Priorswood Road which are largely residential roads with many parked cars. It also makes use of existing brownfield land and cannot be compared to unnecessarily driving a road though the Vivary Green belt. I'm a bit baffled by the "cyclist safety" issue as the main danger for cyclists are roundabouts, so the simple answer is to replace them with proper signalled junctions instead. boliston
  • Score: 0

8:48pm Sun 20 Jan 13

souwesterly says...

Quote....."inadequat
e cyclist safety....."
Why not ban cyclists from using the new link road?
If as much (especially) heavy traffic is 'diverted' onto the new road, that'll leave Priory Bridge Road, Staplegrove Road and probably Priorswood Road too much clearer for cyclists.
Quote....."inadequat e cyclist safety....." Why not ban cyclists from using the new link road? If as much (especially) heavy traffic is 'diverted' onto the new road, that'll leave Priory Bridge Road, Staplegrove Road and probably Priorswood Road too much clearer for cyclists. souwesterly
  • Score: 0

8:31am Mon 21 Jan 13

boliston says...

souwesterly wrote:
Quote....."inad
equat
e cyclist safety....."
Why not ban cyclists from using the new link road?
If as much (especially) heavy traffic is 'diverted' onto the new road, that'll leave Priory Bridge Road, Staplegrove Road and probably Priorswood Road too much clearer for cyclists.
I'd imagine it would be almost impossible to enforce such a ban.

Cyclists are banned from motorways and on a very limited number of "motorway like" dual carriageways, but they are mainly roads no cyclist would ever wish to cycle on.

The new link road is quite similar to the third way, and banning cyclist from that would make no sense, even though they could go via the old route via the parade.
[quote][p][bold]souwesterly[/bold] wrote: Quote....."inad equat e cyclist safety....." Why not ban cyclists from using the new link road? If as much (especially) heavy traffic is 'diverted' onto the new road, that'll leave Priory Bridge Road, Staplegrove Road and probably Priorswood Road too much clearer for cyclists.[/p][/quote]I'd imagine it would be almost impossible to enforce such a ban. Cyclists are banned from motorways and on a very limited number of "motorway like" dual carriageways, but they are mainly roads no cyclist would ever wish to cycle on. The new link road is quite similar to the third way, and banning cyclist from that would make no sense, even though they could go via the old route via the parade. boliston
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Mon 21 Jan 13

Mark1970 says...

Waste of time and money. Everyone knows that when there is an accident on the M5 then Taunton becomes congested.

Station road is often wall to wall traffic at certain hours so what is the point of having a route that takes more traffic down Station road.

What we really need is a ring around Taunton so when an accident does occur then traffic goes around and not through.

This would reduce the need for traffic lights and keep traffic out of town and also help move traffic faster.

People though will still drive through town especially those with local knowledge, those using a sat nav will still go down the roads that we want to keep them off as the sat nav will tell them to go that way.

So what really is the point. As people have said, fill the pot holes, do a proper job on our roads rather than using cheap materials to do a bodge job.
Waste of time and money. Everyone knows that when there is an accident on the M5 then Taunton becomes congested. Station road is often wall to wall traffic at certain hours so what is the point of having a route that takes more traffic down Station road. What we really need is a ring around Taunton so when an accident does occur then traffic goes around and not through. This would reduce the need for traffic lights and keep traffic out of town and also help move traffic faster. People though will still drive through town especially those with local knowledge, those using a sat nav will still go down the roads that we want to keep them off as the sat nav will tell them to go that way. So what really is the point. As people have said, fill the pot holes, do a proper job on our roads rather than using cheap materials to do a bodge job. Mark1970
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Mon 21 Jan 13

Slow down! says...

boliston wrote:
This is definitely good news as it will take heavy traffic away from the narrow section of Staplegrove Road between Chip Lane and French Weir and also take traffic away from Greenway Road & Priorswood Road which are largely residential roads with many parked cars. It also makes use of existing brownfield land and cannot be compared to unnecessarily driving a road though the Vivary Green belt. I'm a bit baffled by the "cyclist safety" issue as the main danger for cyclists are roundabouts, so the simple answer is to replace them with proper signalled junctions instead.
Hmm the trouble is its going to push more traffic through Staplegrove road by Taunton school and Bindon road which are also residential areas.

The Town needs a ring road and new motorway junction on the other side of town, the only reason this doesn't happen is that most councillors and Tauntons well to do live in those areas.
[quote][p][bold]boliston[/bold] wrote: This is definitely good news as it will take heavy traffic away from the narrow section of Staplegrove Road between Chip Lane and French Weir and also take traffic away from Greenway Road & Priorswood Road which are largely residential roads with many parked cars. It also makes use of existing brownfield land and cannot be compared to unnecessarily driving a road though the Vivary Green belt. I'm a bit baffled by the "cyclist safety" issue as the main danger for cyclists are roundabouts, so the simple answer is to replace them with proper signalled junctions instead.[/p][/quote]Hmm the trouble is its going to push more traffic through Staplegrove road by Taunton school and Bindon road which are also residential areas. The Town needs a ring road and new motorway junction on the other side of town, the only reason this doesn't happen is that most councillors and Tauntons well to do live in those areas. Slow down!
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Mon 21 Jan 13

boliston says...

Slow down! wrote:
boliston wrote:
This is definitely good news as it will take heavy traffic away from the narrow section of Staplegrove Road between Chip Lane and French Weir and also take traffic away from Greenway Road & Priorswood Road which are largely residential roads with many parked cars. It also makes use of existing brownfield land and cannot be compared to unnecessarily driving a road though the Vivary Green belt. I'm a bit baffled by the "cyclist safety" issue as the main danger for cyclists are roundabouts, so the simple answer is to replace them with proper signalled junctions instead.
Hmm the trouble is its going to push more traffic through Staplegrove road by Taunton school and Bindon road which are also residential areas.

The Town needs a ring road and new motorway junction on the other side of town, the only reason this doesn't happen is that most councillors and Tauntons well to do live in those areas.
Bindon Road is not really itself a "residential" road as there are very few properties that have driveways leading into this road - it is primarily a "distributor" road serving a number of business parks and housing estates in the area.

It will however remove a lot of heavy traffic from the residential sections of Staplegrove Road, Greenway Road and Priorswood Road
[quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]boliston[/bold] wrote: This is definitely good news as it will take heavy traffic away from the narrow section of Staplegrove Road between Chip Lane and French Weir and also take traffic away from Greenway Road & Priorswood Road which are largely residential roads with many parked cars. It also makes use of existing brownfield land and cannot be compared to unnecessarily driving a road though the Vivary Green belt. I'm a bit baffled by the "cyclist safety" issue as the main danger for cyclists are roundabouts, so the simple answer is to replace them with proper signalled junctions instead.[/p][/quote]Hmm the trouble is its going to push more traffic through Staplegrove road by Taunton school and Bindon road which are also residential areas. The Town needs a ring road and new motorway junction on the other side of town, the only reason this doesn't happen is that most councillors and Tauntons well to do live in those areas.[/p][/quote]Bindon Road is not really itself a "residential" road as there are very few properties that have driveways leading into this road - it is primarily a "distributor" road serving a number of business parks and housing estates in the area. It will however remove a lot of heavy traffic from the residential sections of Staplegrove Road, Greenway Road and Priorswood Road boliston
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Tue 22 Jan 13

swjoduk says...

Mark1970 wrote:
Waste of time and money. Everyone knows that when there is an accident on the M5 then Taunton becomes congested. Station road is often wall to wall traffic at certain hours so what is the point of having a route that takes more traffic down Station road. What we really need is a ring around Taunton so when an accident does occur then traffic goes around and not through. This would reduce the need for traffic lights and keep traffic out of town and also help move traffic faster. People though will still drive through town especially those with local knowledge, those using a sat nav will still go down the roads that we want to keep them off as the sat nav will tell them to go that way. So what really is the point. As people have said, fill the pot holes, do a proper job on our roads rather than using cheap materials to do a bodge job.
It will not push traffic on to station road, there will be a road bridge over the top of it!

A point someone made about Bindon Road and Staplegrove Road is a good point though.

I think there should be lights added at the Bindon Road/Staplegrove Road junction as it is never easy to pull out from Bindon Rd due to the proximity of the bend.

They could also do with adding parking restrictions on Bindon Rd by Chaplins as parking here causes a hazard at the best of times with current traffic levels. Maybe restrictions on Staplegrove Rd too but it is a bit wider so maybe not?
[quote][p][bold]Mark1970[/bold] wrote: Waste of time and money. Everyone knows that when there is an accident on the M5 then Taunton becomes congested. Station road is often wall to wall traffic at certain hours so what is the point of having a route that takes more traffic down Station road. What we really need is a ring around Taunton so when an accident does occur then traffic goes around and not through. This would reduce the need for traffic lights and keep traffic out of town and also help move traffic faster. People though will still drive through town especially those with local knowledge, those using a sat nav will still go down the roads that we want to keep them off as the sat nav will tell them to go that way. So what really is the point. As people have said, fill the pot holes, do a proper job on our roads rather than using cheap materials to do a bodge job.[/p][/quote]It will not push traffic on to station road, there will be a road bridge over the top of it! A point someone made about Bindon Road and Staplegrove Road is a good point though. I think there should be lights added at the Bindon Road/Staplegrove Road junction as it is never easy to pull out from Bindon Rd due to the proximity of the bend. They could also do with adding parking restrictions on Bindon Rd by Chaplins as parking here causes a hazard at the best of times with current traffic levels. Maybe restrictions on Staplegrove Rd too but it is a bit wider so maybe not? swjoduk
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Tue 22 Jan 13

Slow down! says...

Bindon Road is not really itself a "residential" road as there are very few properties that have driveways leading into this road - it is primarily a "distributor" road serving a number of business parks and housing estates in the area.

It will however remove a lot of heavy traffic from the residential sections of Staplegrove Road, Greenway Road and Priorswood Road”


So moving the problem from one area to another, so the new road isn't really going to help as its just creating another bottle neck in the town on a road (bindon road) not designed to take that amount of traffic.

Once again Taunton had an opportunity to build a proper relief road and has chosen not too.
Bindon Road is not really itself a "residential" road as there are very few properties that have driveways leading into this road - it is primarily a "distributor" road serving a number of business parks and housing estates in the area. It will however remove a lot of heavy traffic from the residential sections of Staplegrove Road, Greenway Road and Priorswood Road” So moving the problem from one area to another, so the new road isn't really going to help as its just creating another bottle neck in the town on a road (bindon road) not designed to take that amount of traffic. Once again Taunton had an opportunity to build a proper relief road and has chosen not too. Slow down!
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Thurza says...

Wasn't the former 'Rail bridge' actually the Canal bridge?
Wasn't the former 'Rail bridge' actually the Canal bridge? Thurza
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree