ACTION to prevent motorists performing "dangerous manoeuvres" during roadworks on a busy road in Taunton has been welcomed.

Protective cones and a 'No U-turn' sign have been installed on a section of Priorswood Road where one driver noticed a "near miss" recently.

Work to upgrade the traffic lights in the Rowbarton area has led to temporary lights on Priorswood Road and Cheddon Road, as well as other nearby locations.

The works have also led to traffic leaving Cheddon Road having to turn left into Priorswood Road - vehicles cannot drive straight ahead into Clifton Terrace during the work.

The No U turn area on Priorswood Road, Taunton

The No U turn area on Priorswood Road, Taunton

That means anyone wishing to drive into the town centre or out of town via Kingston Road or Greenway Road cannot do so directly.

Instead, drivers have been turning around in the Tesco car park or reversing into side streets and doubling back to access Clifton Terrace.

The alternative would be to drive into town via the Obridge flyover.

But one resident living on Priorswood Road has witnessed some drivers performing U-turns coming out of Cheddon Road onto Priorswood Road.

"I've seen some utterly dangerous manoeuvres," said the resident, who does not wish to be named.

"Oncoming cars have had to brake suddenly on occasions, but the worst I saw was when one driver who U-turned nearly flattened a cyclist. It was honestly that close and the cyclist was pretty shaken.

"Putting in extra cones has made it that much harder to do a U-turn and drivers seem to have got the message now."

The lights scheme at junctions and pedestrian crossings in Rowbarton is part of Somerset County Council’s £9 million countywide package of work over the next three years to refurbish signal equipment coming to the end of its working life.

Work started on March 22 to remove old equipment and install new state-of-the-art traffic signals, including improved provision for cyclists and pedestrians at Kingston Road/Greenway Road, Kingston Road/St Andrew’s Road, and Cheddon Road/Priorswood Road. Pedestrian crossings on Kingston Road are also being renewed, and improved.

The existing signals have been in use for about 40 years and are in a state of disrepair.

The new signals will be more efficient, more eco-friendly and should improve traffic flow while providing safer access for both cyclists and pedestrians.

The scheme is expected to take a total of about 17 weeks to complete.