EAST Street, in Taunton, is set to close to traffic between 10am and 4pm each day following a public consultation.

All on-street parking will be removed from the street, but more Blue Badge bays will be introduced at town centre sites.

The proposals follow a public consultation into the temporary closure of East Street imposed after lockdown to enable social distancing and encourage walking and cycling.

The impact on East Street and traffic flow around the town has been monitored and measures have been considered such as more crossing points with ramps to support people with low mobility.

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The consultation showed 53 per cent of respondents wanted the closure extended, 37 per cent felt it was not a success, with 10 per cent undecided.

Positives were seen as more space and the ability to cross the road safely. Negatives were the impact on traffic movement and the loss of on-street parking.

The timed closure of East Street would permit greater traffic movement at peak times and would allow new street furniture and cycle storage facilities.

Extra Blue Badge bays would be on Billet Street and Magdalene Street, with two additional spaces in the Crescent Car Park.

A proposed temporary car park at the former bus station in the new year would feature an increased proportion of Blue Badge bays.

Somerset County Gazette:
CLOSED: East Street has been closed to traffic since July

Cllr Mike Rigby, SWT executive member for planning and transport, said: “The response from the public and businesses was one of the best we’ve had to a consultation and I am grateful to everyone who took part.

“It was particularly interesting to see the positive feedback around clean air and the improved shopping environment which support both our climate commitments and our initiatives to support local businesses.

“The results have enabled us to look at how we can improve the experience for everyone for the duration of the temporary closure and I am confident that we will be able to introduce these measures quickly subject to confirmation of the phase two funding and detailed design.”