WORK to renew traffic lights and crossings across Somerset as part of a multi-million package starts in Wells and Shepton Mallet this summer.

The scheme will see major upgrades to traffic signals in both towns before the programme moves to Frome later in the year.

Work to replace signals at a number of sites in Yeovil is well underway, while Taunton’s Rowbarton scheme was completed in the autumn.

Work in Wells starts on Thursday, July 7 with the following timetable:

Mountery Rd (near Milton Hill) – pedestrian crossing, until August;

Burcott Rd/Strawberry Way – signalised junction, August to November;

Portway/Strawberry Way – signalised junction, November to March 2023;

Strawberry Way south end – pedestrian crossing, March 2023-April 2023.

Work starts in Shepton Mallet commences on Thursday, July 21 with the signalised junction at Fosse Lane/Charlton Road, lasting until October.

The Frome leg of the work is at the planning stage and is expected to start in the autumn/winter.

Most of the work in Wells and Shepton Mallet will take place under temporary lights, although there may occasionally be short evening/overnight closures. Further information and advanced signage will follow.

Access for residents and businesses will be maintained throughout.

Somerset County Council’s executive lead member for transport and digital Cllr Mike Rigby said: “This is significant investment in our essential infrastructure which ensures our network is fit for purpose for many years to come.

“This needs to happen now because the existing signal equipment has reached the end of its working life and must be replaced, otherwise it is likely to fail causing disruption and extra cost to the public.

“The new signals will be more efficient, more eco-friendly, and importantly should improve traffic flow and provide much safer access for both cyclists and pedestrians.

“We’ll be working closely with local businesses and the community to ensure they have all the information they need, and disruption is kept to a minimum.”

Somerset County Council’s highways team recently netted the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport highly commended status for its Rowbarton scheme in the CIHT 2022 awards. The scheme was recognised for its exemplar collaboration practices with partners and the community.