THE battle to end gridlock which is grinding Wellington to a halt reached Parliament this week.
Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne raised the issue of the town’s traffic misery in the House of Commons on Tuesday (March 11) in a bid to secure a “proper” Northern Relief Road.
Mr Browne is also campaigning for a new train station and expressed his concerns over the lack of rail links with Transport Minister Stephen Hammond.
He spoke of his fears that Wellington’s infrastructure needs may be “overlooked” as it is smaller than Taunton.
He said: “I was pleased to raise this in the House of Commons. I explained my two main priorities: a proper Northern Relief Road and a new Wellington train station.
“I was encouraged that the Transport Minister expressed his willingness for officials to help make this vision a viable plan.”
As previously reported in the County Gazette, Mr Browne is calling for a proper Northern Relief Road to alleviate pressure on traffic-choked streets in the town centre.
Housing developments at Cades Farm and Longforth Farm, as well as the opening of Waitrose in 2010, have increased the number of vehicles.
Mr Browne believes the congestion is “getting worse”.
He said: “The junction of Longforth Road and the High Street, next to Waitrose, is a complete bottleneck at peak times. With all of the new house building it is only going to become even more intolerable.
“The new Longforth Farm development missed an ideal opportunity to give Wellington the Northern Relief Road that the town desperately needs.
“We still need a new road and I am open-minded about the options.”
The MP has suggested putting a link through into Brendon Road outside the main Relyon entrance.
He feels it would be better to take it over the railway line with a bridge and bring it out on Wardleworth Way or further along Station Road towards Milverton.
As for a train station, Mr Browne is among others – including prospective MP for Taunton Deane Rebecca Pow and Cllr Mark Edwards, deputy leader at Taunton Deane Council – in campaigning for a new service.
He said: “Wellington residents have been wanting a new train station for decades.
“It is ridiculous that the train to London sometimes stops at Castle Cary and Pewsey but there is no station in Wellington, despite the train line running right through the town.
“It is very impractical for Wellington residents to travel to Taunton or Tiverton Parkway to catch a train, especially if they are dependent on public transport to get to the station.
“This and a relief road are two big projects and are priorities for transport infrastructure investment in Somerset.”