WHILE the idea of temporarily closing East Street to traffic to facilitate social distancing during the present Covid crisis is a good idea, it is extremely bad idea as a permanent measure as was possibly implied in the County Gazette of August 13.

While the pedestrianisation might be good in itself - facts rather than wishful thinking of extra footfall in shops would be welcome in an article about this; there is no consideration of the implications for the flow of traffic around the south of Taunton town centre (along Upper High Street).

As all will appreciate, this is the only route to pass the town centre on the south side.

The traffic in August is now noticeably much more than normal - already comparable to the normal autumn traffic when all have returned from holiday.

It is also the designated emergency route when an incident occurs on the M5 between junctions 25 and 26.

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There is NO alternative in the event of emergency service repairs being required to Upper High Street.

Do people remember the chaos when Wessex were putting a necessary main along Upper High Street a few years ago? That was with East Street still open to traffic.

I have been putting forward the idea of an outer southern orbital road for about six years now - have sketch designed and costed it, but our traffic engineers seem to be philosophically opposed to orbital roads.

It is clear to the general public that there is a need for such a road which road would definitely NOT compromise the Vivary Wedge.

External sources of funding are available if there is a will to build something (e.g. J25 improvements).