Please find below the response from Somerset County Council to concerns raised by the Parish Council regarding the road works being carried out in the area and the resulting disruption caused to residents and visitors.
"Thank you for your email regarding roadworks in and around Bridgwater.
Somerset County Council (SCC) understands your concerns regarding the impacts of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) Project, and other growth and development, on local residents and commuters. We have been working very closely with EDF Energy, Sedgemoor District Council (SDC) and Highways England (HE), and other developers and the utilities companies, to try to minimise and limit those impacts as the HPC Project gets underway and the town continues to grow as a successful town.
The collective approach has been to work on only one arterial route into/ out of Bridgwater at a time. To this end, the planned road works in the south of the town have now been completed with major improvements having been delivered including the junctions of Taunton Road/ Broadway, Penel Orlieu/ West Street, the signalisation of Huntworth roundabout, and new footway/cycleway provision along the southern A38 corridor. Now the road works have been completed in the south, the focus has shifted to the north with the commencement of works at Bristol Road/ The Drove and Wylds Road/ The Drove which are being delivered in parallel to reduce the construction time and the impact for residents and businesses. The construction programme of the works at Dunball roundabout have also been designed to reduce impact as far as possible by removing traffic management whenever possible – for example the traffic management was removed during the Easter period given the volume of extra visitor traffic during this period, and it has been possible to remove traffic management on occasions in the morning and afternoon rush hours. The works are also planned to ensure that key events such as Bridgwater Carnival are accommodated.
However, unfortunately it is not always possible to deliver roadworks sequentially and there will be occasions when works will need to be delivered in parallel. There may also be occasions when emergency utility works are required.
As you indicate, works are also planned at J23 to signalise the roundabout. Although a date for these works has not yet been set, the construction programme will be developed to minimise the impact and maintain traffic flows as far as possible.
Regarding the works at the junctions of Bristol Road/The Drove and Wylds Road/ The Drove, EDF Energy recently publicised that the works are progressing well and are ahead of schedule.
EDF has recognised that its works have an impact on businesses and has produced frequently asked questions at the following web page which includes a paper on the range of business support that is being made available, coordinated through Sedgemoor District Council.
The long term benefit to Bridgwater will be a much improved highway network, though the County Council (and the various other parties) fully appreciate the impact the works have and over such an extended period of time. The patience and support of local councils is greatly appreciated.
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