Bunting was flown, champagne corks popped, streamers filled the air and…no they didn’t, the little plastic barrier was simply removed and the road finally re-opened after months of chaos and loss of trade. St Mary street is now once again and entry and exit road to Bridgwater town centre.
Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Leigh Redman, who, as County Councillor for the wad has been keeping people in touch with developments and pressing EDF every step of the way said “It’s about time. We’ve been working together to get this sped up, we now need to look at community mitigation for the traders and whenever works like this happen they need to remember to consider the effects on residents and traders alike.”
Traders count the cost
Leader of Bridgwater Town council Brian Smedley said “Finally the road works at Taunton road are complete and the traffic lights sequenced correctly. At last St Mary Street ,and therefore the town ,is open for trade again. But at what cost? Traders have lost 1000’s during the past 6 months and ought to be compensated by EDF for this. It’s hard to put a convincing case for any actual benefit brought by these road changes other than it meant EDF didn’t have to pay for a by-pass and chose to do this instead. Clearly a big loss for the town as we’d campaigned for a by-pass all along and obviously all these works-of which there’ll be more, are a major loss for town centre traders.”
Adding an extra element of excitement to the proceedings, Ross Edwards of EDF said “As planned we opened the Taunton Road lane on 22 July. We still have minor snagging to undertake and the synchronisation of the lights with others in the town needs to be fine-tuned. Until this work is complete we’re not 100 percent finished on the improvements. I will let you know in advance if the finishing touches are likely to affect road users/businesses/residents, hopefully they will not.I will confirm when we are fully finished.”