A ‘LONG-overdue’ relief road will dramatically improve the lives of a community, say campaigners and councillors.

The route planned will run from the entrance of the Tarmac site on the A358 at Henlade, near Taunton, across fields to the Wessex Water sewage treatment facility at Ham.

Currently, trucks heading to the plant are using Lipe Lane and Ham Road which residents say is causing them misery.

The community raised concerns about the lack of a relief road at a meeting with Wessex Water officials, which the County Gazette reported in September last year.

District councillor David Durdan said the community has been campaigning for this road for over ten years: “It would mean a new quality of life for people and it is long overdue.”

Ham Road resident Jane Withey said: “This is a step in the right direction and we will definitely be supporting the planning application and hope it goes through. It would mean having our road back again and we have been waiting for so long for this road so I hope everybody supports it.”

Another resident, Veronica Moore, added: “This is fantastic news and it would take the road back to what it used to be like years ago.”

County councillor David Fothergill added: “At last we are seeing major progress which will improve people’s lives in Ham Road and Ruishton.”

Ruishton and Thornfalcon Parish Council vice-chairman Mike Marshall said: “We’ve always welcomed a route to take traffic off Ham Road but my concern is traffic turning into and the access off the A358. It will improve the lives of families on the road if the plans go ahead.”

This is the second phase of work which Wessex Water are doing at the plant and it will cost around £21million and is expected to take 15 months.

A spokesman for Wessex Water said: “We realise how important it is for this road to be built and we are pleased the preferred route chosen with local landowners, residents and councils has received significant local support.”

The public consultation period on the plans ends on February 4.