SEDGEMOOR District Council has submitted a planning application to enhance Salmon Parade, East Quay, New Road, and Eastover as part of its Celebration Mile project.

The application proposes the introduction of one-way roads in the town centre with 20mph speed limits to allow for the introduction of contraflow cycle lanes. 

It would also encourage tree-planting, create a “new gateway to Eastover”, and see plaques installed to commemorate the area's history.

The aim of the application is to promote walking and cycling and to “ensure a coherent and attractive street scene”.

The Celebration Mile project aims to create a “golden thread” connecting the train station to the docks via the town centre. 

The scheme has been part of the district council's Local Plan and Bridgwater Vision since 2009. 

This application for full planning permission was submitted to the district council's planning portal on June 1. 

It proposes “public realm enhancements and highway alterations, including modifications to the existing highway layout to improve pedestrian and cycle accessibility and safety, resurfacing, hard and soft landscaping, and associated works”.

Bridgwater Mercury: The Celebration Mile project aims to create a 'golden thread' running through Bridgwater. Picture: Steve RichardsonThe Celebration Mile project aims to create a 'golden thread' running through Bridgwater. Picture: Steve Richardson

The planning statement - written by Stantec on the council's behalf - proposes the introduction of three-metre wide one-way roads with 20mph speed limits in Eastover, East Quay, Salmon Parade, and Town Bridge. 

This would facilitate the introduction of two-metre wide contraflow cycle lanes in Eastover, East Quay, and Salmon Parade. 

The one-way roads would be along Eastover (westbound); East Quay up to the junction with Watsons Lane (northbound); and Salmon Parade to the junction with the former hospital car park (southbound). 

Cyclists would be expected to cycle with traffic when travelling in the same direction as motor vehicles and use the proposed contraflow lanes when going the other way.

Motor vehicles would only be allowed to travel westbound over Town Bridge to enable the extension of the cycle lane from Eastover across it. 

The application also proposes “improving the pedestrian accessibility over Town Bridge and into Eastover by reducing vehicle movements at the crossroads of Eastover, East Quay, Salmon Parade, and the town centre”.

An existing signal-controlled pedestrian crossing in Eastover would be replaced with an “uncontrolled pedestrian crossing in broadly the same location”.

A new gateway to Eastover would be created “through landscaping, tree planting, and feature furniture, which will create a sense of arrival”.

Read more: Council submits £9m business case for creation of Celebration Mile in Bridgwater 

Read more: Bridgwater residents asked to share their views on the Celebration Mile

It also proposed the installation of plaques explaining the area's history and details about the river “to encourage people to cycle and walk and to dwell”.

There are plans to increase tree-planting “to soften the street scene and promote wellbeing”.

The application says: “These works have been designed and will be undertaken in accordance with the Celebration Mile transformational project set out within the Bridgwater Vision and the adopted Local Plan.

“The aim is to ensure a coherent and attractive street scene, providing improved pedestrian and cycle links between the train station and the docks.”

A public consultation event was held on March 1 at Bridgwater Town Hall inviting members of the public to discuss the proposed public realm enhancements. 

Around 30 people attended, who were able to ask questions about the proposals.

Bridgwater Mercury: Sedgemoor District Council's planning application can be viewed online.Sedgemoor District Council's planning application can be viewed online.  

The planning application says: “Generally, the proposals were very well received, with attendees supporting the principle of the public realm improvements, including the proposed one-way vehicular route along Eastover, East Quay and Salmon Parade.

“Although some concern was raised over the management of deliveries to businesses along Eastover, two loading bays (which have now been lengthened in size) are proposed to be provided on the southern side of the carriageway.

“Access to rear delivery yards would remain unaffected.

“Overall, there was a consensus that the proposals were much-needed and would significantly enhance the character, appearance and useability of the public realm along this key section of Celebration Mile.”

The proposals would be funded by the Bridgwater Town Investment Plan through the Government's Towns Fund

The district council has agreed to submit a £9 million summary business case to the Government for the creation of the Celebration Mile. 

The Government has three months to respond.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The Celebration Mile will provide the golden thread that links key areas of the town centre together along with linking several Bridgwater Town Deal projects providing better access ensuring their success in the future.

“Investment of Town Deal funding will support the delivery of significant public realm improvements including the creation of new places and spaces, shared areas, paving, lighting, street trees, public art, and improved signage.

“The Celebration Mile project has been a feature of the Council’s Local Plan and Bridgwater Vision since 2009 and is split into three separate elements – Angel Crescent, Clare Street and Eastover.”

Bridgwater residents can view the planning application online and make comments until July 5.

The application number is 08/22/00074.