The end of the road! NIDR opens tomorrow

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At last I hear you sigh.

The Northern Inner Distributor Road will open to traffic tomorrow. The full details of the scheme include the

  • Construction of the new Firepool Bridge over the River Tone and canal.
  • Replacement of the historic Kingston Loop Bridge over Station Road.
  • Replacement of the 40 Steps footbridge over the railway at Chip Lane.
  • Construction of approximately 1.6km of new carriageway together with the realignment of a further 150 metres of carriageway.
  • Construction of a new junction at Chip Lane / Staplegrove Road.
  • Improvements to the existing Priory Bridge Road / Priory Avenue / Priory Park junction.
  • The provision of pedestrian and cycle facilities.

In our next edition we will look into more of the “what happens next” after delays cost over runs and the potential for legal action between Somerset County Council and contractor Carillion.

For now we simply celebrate the completion of a much delayed project.

The multi-million pound scheme provides a new link from Priory Avenue to Staplegrove Road and will unlock valuable development land and tackle congestion in the town.

The scheme, delivered by contractors Carillion on behalf of Somerset County Council and has been substantially delayed. Now that Carillion has completed all the critical works, the County Council is planning to take over the site and open the road tomorrow, in time for the evening rush hour.

The new Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr John Woodman, is clearly a master of understatement “The delays have been frustrating but I’m very pleased to share the long-awaited news that the road will be opening tomorrow. Many thanks for your patience.”

The focus for now will be on delivering the economic benefits the road was supposed to unlock for our county town. Cllr Woodman again “The economic and travel time benefits are important for all of us and I hope the town’s motorists will find this a real improvement.This is a key project for Taunton which will unlock the Firepool site for development and help to ease congestion across the town.”