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Pedestrianisation of Taunton

Posted by hatfield on December 4, 2018

Pedestrianisation of Taunton

A long-awaited pedestrianisation scheme in the centre of Taunton is out for public consultation but the Council has already announced a start date. The scheme will see East Street closed to all traffic except buses and cyclists, Hammet Street closed to vehicles during the day, and St James Street fully pedestrianised.

The scheme is now due to start in January 2019 in order to avoid disrupting Christmas. St James Street is a permanent arrangement whereas Hammet Street’s changes would be subject to the trial and it is not clear whether East Street plans would be on a trial basis or permanent. 

The aim of the project is to make Taunton town centre more pedestrian friendly, with improved air quality and cycle routes, in line with the garden town status.

The retailers on East Street expect to see more trade with a more pleasant shopping experience on offer but people ask if the outskirts of the town will become gridlocked? There are already fewer car parking spaces in town and threats to close the park and ride services.

We think improvements to the environment are sorely needed and no scheme will keep everyone happy. But maintaining the status quo is clearly not working. Taunton’s town centre is not suffering as much as some but it is falling well behind competing centres. One strength of this scheme is that it is reversible. Bold leadership is required.

Watch this space…….