A ONE-way system introduced in Bridgwater to help people social distance is set to continue.

The scheme, introduced around eight weeks ago, is part of a Somerset bid involving all five councils to continue certain schemes.

The pedestrianisation of the high Street/Cornhill area on Fridays to allow the market to take place will also continue.

The Active Travel Group - which comprises all five Somerset councils; Somerset County, Somerset West and Taunton, Sedgemoor, Mendip and South Somerset - says it has 'taken onboard community feedback' to identify opportunities for cycling to replace journeys previously made by car or public transport.

A scheme to create a cycle lane between Linham Road and the Docks is also subject to a bid for further funding.

In Mendip, the pedestrianisation of Street High Street is set to continue, while a new 'Schools Street' scheme is set to be expanded in Frome.

"All proposals continue the real ambition shown in 'tranche 1' schemes and build on the success in improving safe conditions to support the re-opening of high streets across the county," a spokesperson for the travel group said.

A list of the schemes that have been identified and submitted are as follows:

• Somerset West & Taunton – Taunton – Continuation of the closure of East St and upgrade to the infrastructure of the initial scheme. This will include re-provision of bus stops and ramps to assist wheelchair users.

• Somerset West & Taunton – Taunton - Creation of a dedicated cycling and walking route from Canal Road to Trenchard Way in the Firepool area, connecting the newly re-oriented mainline train station entrance directly to the river and allowing direct access to the town centre and international cricket ground.

• Sedgemoor - Bridgwater - Eastover/Salmon Parade/East Quay – Delivery of a scheme for semi-permanent measures to maintain one-way traffic movements and widening of footpaths to facilitate social distancing. Includes the ability to include a contraflow cycle lane to enable west to east cycling. The need to retain some space for deliveries and parking (including disabled parking) is included.

• Sedgemoor - Bridgwater - Linham Road to Bridgwater docks - Provision of a new cycle route between the Bridgwater Northern Distributor Road and the docks to improve accessibility between the town centre and residential areas and as part of future planned corridor wide improvements that will provide off-road cycle facilities into Bridgwater.

• South Somerset – Yeovil Town Centre Walking and Cycling Package - The scheme continues the transformation of the High Street. There will be a new Bus Gate aimed at reducing the dominance of general vehicular traffic. It also includes the installation of two new cycle storage facilities.

• South Somerset – Yeovil – Lyde Road Strategic Cycleway - The scheme will deliver three sections of segregated cycleway approximately 1 kilometre in length. This is an on and off carriageway solution serving the Eastern residential and commercial areas of Yeovil.

• Mendip – Frome – Installation of a ‘Schools Street’ scheme around Oakfield Road - Somerset Road. The scheme will allow safe access to three schools, connect access to a fourth school via Victoria Park and improve safety on a section of road section on the NCN 24.

• Mendip – Street - Temporary extension of current road closure on High Street between Vestry Road and Leigh Road to facilitate additional pedestrian and bike traffic between these points.

"Delivery of these schemes will be dependent on the level of funding provided," the spokesperson added.

"The Active Travel Group, comprised of all five councils in Somerset, recognises the need for engagement prior to taking these bids forward to implementation and will ensure opportunities are made available to consult and engage with communities and local groups to inform delivery of the schemes.

"The group will continue to work closely with town councils, traders, voluntary cycle groups and carnival clubs who are supporting the programme."

Funding for the 'tranche 1' schemes currently in place has now ended, but local funding has been made available to extend the schemes that have been effective and achieved local support for at least one month.

Bridgwater Mercury:
East Street in Taunton will remain closed to traffic

The tranche 1 schemes continuing are:

  • Somerset West & Taunton - Taunton - Pedestrianisation of East Street
  • Somerset West & Taunton - Minehead - Removal of some parking bays on The Avenue and The Parade to enable widening of footways
  • Sedgemoor - Bridgwater - Eastover / East Quay / Salmon Parade - One-way traffic movement to provide widened footpaths and facilitate safer cycling
  • Sedgemoor - Burnham on Sea - Pedestrianisation of High Street
  • South Somerset - Yeovil - Pedestrianisation of High Street and Middle Street
  • Mendip - Street - Temporarily pedestrianisation (with delivery vehicle access only) High Street from Leigh Road to Vestry Road (where market normally takes place).
  • Sedgemoor - Bridgwater - Pedestrianisation of High Street/Cornhill on Fridays only to facilitate the market.

Members of the public can have their say on the current schemes - and flag areas of concern through the interactive online mapping tool ‘Commonplace’, which can be found at somersetcovidactivetravel.commonplace.is.