National Highways is inviting interested parties to participate in the upcoming statutory consultation on the duelling of the A358 between Taunton and Ilminster. The consultation closes on 22 November 13:59.
This 'road improvement' will have a major impact on the volume of traffic using the A378 through and around Curry Rivel. and therefore will affect nearly every member of the community in some way
Derek Yeomans, the Chair of your Parish Council has submitted his views and encourages all members of the community to view the proposed scheme and submit their own views and concerns.
I attended the first local consultation that was local at the Holiday Inn in Taunton on the 3rd November. I had long discussions concerning the possible use of the A378, our main road through the village, which connects Thornfalcon to Podimore and is currently used as 15 minute time saver rat run by all kind of traffic including major articulated HGVs ,other HGVs, large vans and all other types of vehicles including very large agricultural vehicles with trailers.After some very helpful advice from the agents working there I was given some booklets with information how to submit my concerns considering the possible use of the A378 as a relief road for these ongoing multi million pound modifications to the current A358.
I replied with the following points.
a. The A378 (previously the B3153 until the 1950s) is still the same width as it was as a B road. (some sign posts, eg. the one opposite Drayton Lane, still carry the old road number)
b. In the villages it passes through, roadside parking of domestic vehicle often reduces the 25 foot wide carriage way to a single lane. This is particularly relevant in the entire lengthof the road through Curry Rivel.
c. The surface of the road through Curry Rivel in particular is now showing significant major signs of cracking and de-lamination and will need overall resurfacing within the next two years.
d, Due to the need for major increases in house building in all sections transiting villages, the carriage way has very regularly considerable sections coned off with traffic lights creating long back up traffic queues of all classes of vehicles caused by work on the carriageway being undertaken at short notice.
e.The major town on the route is Langport which is served at its western end by a hump backed listed 18 century stone bridge owned by the Environment Agency. This bridge is subject to a registered 7.5 weight limit over the River Parrett, and leads onto a very narrow street called Bow Street, which is subject to a 20mph speed limit because of the narrowness of pavements on either side of it and the presence if a Primary School further into the town.
It is currently almost the norm that vehicles transiting in opposite directions through Bow Street have to mount the pavements to pass each other which makes their use hazardous for normal pedestrians let alone those with prams or buggies. Bow Street is habitually blocked by delivery vehicles which completely inhibit two way traffic flow and ultimately create a full traffic jam. This situation culminates in the very narrow and right angled corner at the top of Bow Street where it joins North Street. If two vehisles were to meet head on at the this corner the entire road would be completely blocked both ways and it is hard to see how this blockage could be solved without major potential for damage to property and vehicles. There are no alternative options to avoid the use of this corner on this road!
f. Langport has additional considerable traffic flows of HGVs and other traffic incoming and out going to Bridgwater which even now exacerbates the traffic densities on the A378 through the town.
Therefore any consideration of the A378 as an alternative route for A358 traffic flow, however short lived should be immediately discounted.
The junction at ThornFalcon is referred to in this consultation asMattocks Tree Junction which is midway in sections 1 and 2.
This statutory consultation is an opportunity for you to share your views on our proposals. We strongly encourage you to provide your views to us now through this statutory consultation. This will enable us to take your views into account in developing and refining our proposals before submitting our application for a Development Consent Order to the Planning Inspectorate in summer 2022.