A major county-wide Somerset Council scheme to replace traffic signals at the end of their working life has been given the green light to extend to further sites this year and next.
So far traffic lights at junctions and crossings across Somerset have been replaced. This includes sites in Taunton, Bridgwater, Chard, Wells, Shepton Mallet and Frome.
Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital, Cllr Mike Rigby, has rubberstamped funding for the next phase, which will see more signals renewed across Somerset.
Work is currently nearing completion in Lysander Road in Yeovil, and commenced earlier this month in Stars Lane, with work at Larkhill Road starting in May and West Coker Road in June.
The scheme will be carried out under temporary lights with the need for some evening road closures for resurfacing in the final stages of the programme. Advanced notice of these will be provided to residents and businesses.
Where possible the Council coordinates its work with other operators to minimise disruption and this is the case in West Coker Road where the team is liaising with Wessex Water to ensure it can carry out essential repair works immediately ahead of the signal replacement. Wessex Water will commence work on 9 May under temporary lights and will finish the opening phase of its scheme ahead of the Council works in June.
A second phase of Wessex Water’s scheme will take place after the signals recovery work has concluded in July, taking place under traffic lights in West Coker Road, Forest Hill and Rowan Way
Cllr Rigby said: “These are essential traffic signal upgrades, they must be replaced or they will fail, so it’s vital that we identified the funding and factored the work in as soon as possible.
“This investment in our signals network is long overdue, it follows many years of under-investment in our traffic signals infrastructure, that’s why we’re making it a priority now.
“Of course we appreciate that this will cause some disruption for road users, and our teams will be doing their utmost to minimise this. In the case of our upcoming works in West Coker Road, we are liaising closely with Wessex Water to ensure essential mains work is carried out immediately before the signals replacement to avoid further disruption in the near future.
“Ultimately we will have more efficient, eco-friendly equipment in our towns as part of ensuring our transport network is fit for purpose for many years to come.”