A DECISION on the long-awaited £18.4m Colley Lane Southern Access Road in Bridgwater will be considered when Somerset County Council’s Cabinet meet later this month.

Cabinet will meet on December 13 to decide whether to award the contract for the Colley Lane Southern Access Road (CLSAR) scheme to be built. If approved, the new route would provide traffic relief to several key locations across the south east of Bridgwater.

The new carriageway will provide access into the Colley Lane Industrial Estate from the South, avoiding the need for vehicles having to use the most congested sections of Taunton Road, and Broadway by connecting Parrett Way to Marsh Lane with a new roundabout at the existing Marsh Lane/Showground Road junction.

Provision to access brown field development sites located between the River Parrett and the Taunton & Bridgwater Canal has also been made, supporting the delivery of planned housing and employment land nearby.

Colley Lane plans include two new bridges, 840 metres of new carriageway and additional provision for cycle and footways. This huge investment will support development and the local economy in Bridgwater benefiting both residents and businesses.

Councillor John Woodman, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Somerset County Council, said: “This proposed major transport scheme is a major investment in transport infrastructure in Bridgwater, helping to reduce congestion, improve access to Bridgwater and support development and the local economy.”

“Cabinet will be meeting later this month to decide whether or not to appoint a contractor to take the Colley Lane project forward and if approved, works could begin as early as spring 2018.”

The £18.4m Colley Lane scheme will be funded by developer contributions from EDF S106 contributions, £9.38m from housing developers S106 contributions, £3m from DfT Productivity Investment Fund and up to £4m from the Somerset County Council capital programme.

Cllrs Leigh Redman and Bill Revans, County Councillors for the area that the bypass will benefit said it was 'better late than never'.

Cllr Redman said: “For many years, I have been pressing for this important link road to be started. Somerset County Council have been facing financial pressures, and following the most recent election both Cllr Revans and myself have increased pressure to move forward with the bypass. The road will help to relieve pressure on Taunton road because of HPC traffic.

"To hear that finally the plans will move to hopeful implementation is great news, we both look forward to working with Highways and residents to bring the long overdue bypass into reality.”

Cllr Revans added: "This proposed improvement should alleviate traffic along the A38, where there has been a huge amount of development in recent years.

"It will be substantially funded by developer contributions from Stockmoor and Wilstock. It is a huge shame that it has taken so long for these plans to come to fruition, but better late than never."

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