ROADWORKS near the Toneway are the start of building work for Taunton’s new £21.8million road.

Somerset County Council confirmed the works along Priory Avenue are part of the Northern Inner Distributor Road and involves putting a new access road for the Wintersfield housing estate from the Obridge site.

Construction firm Carillion will build a milelong carriageway from the Chip Lane junction with Staplegrove Road to Priory Avenue along with two new road bridges to relieve town centre traffic.

The scheme, which received £15.2m Government funding, includes a new bridge over the River Tone and Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, signal-controlled access to the train station and changes to the existing roundabout at the junction of Priory Avenue and Priory Fieldes.

The rest of the funding will come from the developers and the county council.

The road is scheduled for completion by March 2015 and will open up access to the derelict Firepool, the proposed site for a massive homes, shops, offices and leisure facilities development.