TAUNTON has won £6.7 million of Government funding to upgrade a main artery road into Taunton.

The deal to improve access from the M5 into the county town was announced this morning (Thursday).

The improvements to Toneway, stretching from Junction 25 to the Creech Castle, are being funded as part of the latest round of the Government Growth Deal.

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow, who has lobbied the Government for the funding, said: "I am so delighted that the Ministers and indeed the Chancellor himself have listened.

"This road can now be made fit for purpose to accommodate not only the current traffic but the anticipated increase in traffic with the urban extension at Monkton Heathfield, which forms a key element of Taunton’s new garden town plans.

"For a sustainable future it is essential that infrastructure like this is in place."

The Taunton funding is part of a £43.5 million allocation for the wider South West and is part of the government’s commitment to bringing much needed infrastructure to the region, which has historically been underfunded by previous governments.

News of the funding is being welcomed by Taunton Deane Borough Council.

A project to improve capacity along the Toneway corridor – the stretch of road at Creech Castle – is one of five schemes in Somerset to gain a total of £24 million from the Growth Deal.

The Toneway Corridor scheme will improve access into Taunton town centre from the M5 at J25.

Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, John Williams, said: “Improving our infrastructure is key to delivering our growth programme in Taunton Deane and I am delighted we have been awarded such a substantial sum.

“As a council we are planning to invest more in boosting the bBorough’s economy in the coming year.

"This is another vote of confidence in Taunton, following the announcement of Garden Town status in the New Year.”