Missed Opportunity for Active Travel in Taunton?

Somerset County Council (SCC) have applied for a second instalment of funding from the Government’s Emergency Active Travel fund. They have been given an indicative allocation of £480k but to get this, must meet certain criteria. This includes swift and meaningful plans to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians (both groups), including on strategic corridors.
For Taunton, SCC have applied for 2 schemes:

  • to continue the East Street scheme with additional measures
  • to construct a link from the railway station to Canal Road (to link with Firepool)

We are on record as supporting these measures. But we believed that the Emergency fund second instalment was intended to enable more ambitious schemes. The railway station link was already planned and doesn’t seem to meet the funding criteria.
TACC submitted proposals to SWT and SCC for measures to provide for better walking and cycling on East Reach, Station Road and Wellington Road (see plans below). Any one of these would have been transformative.

We are puzzled by SCC’s comment that it has ‘taken onboard community feedback’. They could be referring to their website Commonplace mapping, although there aren’t that many entries for Taunton (apart from Juntion 25). On the other hand, the website Widen My Path has hundreds of comments and shows strong support especially for East Reach and Station Road improvements.
Sooner or later, hopefully sooner, SCC need to show some ambition if we are to have any hope of securing funding for the proposed Local Cycling and Walking Plan.

Proposal Park StreetBridge Street - Station Road
Proposal A38 Wellington RoadProposal East Reach

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