A £15 million project to build a new link road in Taunton has been given the go ahead by Local Transport Minister Norman Baker.
The work is needed to improve east-west connections across Taunton and open up access to new development.
The scheme will see Somerset County Council construct a new road linking Staplegrove Road in the west of the town to Priory Avenue in the east.
Norman Baker (pictured) said: “This important scheme will help to reduce traffic demand through the town centre and significantly improve access to the Firepool area, unlocking land for vital regeneration – encouraging economic growth and inward investment.
“As well as relieving congestion in the town it will also help promote alternative modes of travel to the private car – improving access for pedestrians and vulnerable road users and providing an alternative bus route.
“The £15.2 million we are putting into this scheme shows that the Coalition Government is serious about investing in the infrastructure the country needs to drive economic growth and cut carbon dioxide emissions.”
The scheme comprises:
Construction of 1 mile (1.6km) new carriageway and realignment of a further 150 metres of existing carriageway;
Construction of a new bridge over the River Tone and the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal in the vicinity of Priory Fields Business Park;
Replacement of a former rail bridge;
Replacement of existing footbridge over the railway;
Provision of pedestrian and cycle facilities;
A roundabout at the junction of Staplegrove Road and Chip Lane, linking to the western end of the Northern Inner Distributor Road (NIDR);
A new signal-controlled access to the Railway Station; and
Modifications to the existing roundabout at the junction of Priory Avenue and Priory Fields, linking to the eastern end of the NIDR.
The scheme was one of those given funding approval in 2011 as part of the spending review process. Work can now start on the construction with the project scheduled to complete in autumn 2014.