Scheme to close Taunton road to traffic

A major road in Taunton is to be closed to traffic on a 12-month trial basis later this month, Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) has said.

A council spokesperson said the closure of St James Street followed “extensive consultation” with a Taunton town centre stakeholder working group.

The group consisted of representatives of Taunton Chamber of Commerce, Avon and Somerset Police, Compass Disability Services, Taunton Taxi Association, First Group Buses, Taunton Area Cycling Campaign, Compass Disability Services, Taunton Visitor Centre, Taunton Transition Town, and partners Somerset County Council and WSP.

An exact date for the closure has not yet been confirmed.

The council spokesperson added: “A thorough review of the project goals and proposed solutions was undertaken by the group which raised some valid points around the perception of safety, effects on the evening economy, taxi services, cycle lanes and coach parking.

“SWT took actions away from the meetings and reported back to the group.

“As a result St James Street will be closed between North Street and Lower Middle Street only, with review meetings every three-months.

“A package of monitoring measures will be published in advance so the effects of the scheme can be reviewed.”

St James Street in Taunton – pic credit: John Sutton

The spokesperson confirmed the scheme will be “implemented in plenty of time” for the Cricket World Cup fan zone, in the town centre on the weekend of 8 and 9 June 2019.

They added: “Work on the proposals for Hammet Street and East Street will continue after the successful implementation of the St James Street closure.

“These changes will be subject to public consultation prior to any implementation.

“SWT and Somerset County Council will continue working on the details of the wider proposed changes with the appointed transport and urban design specialists WSP.”

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Hello! I'm KATE, a journalist, editor and broadcaster with 20 years experience in the industry. I have worked at the BBC, ITV, Heart and Sky Sports News.

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