Sign our A358 call for cycle provision as part of the proposed A358 scheme

Please support our call for cycle provision as part of the A358 proposals by signing this petition Call for A358 cycle provision. Thanks also to everyone who sent comments directly to Highways England.

As part of Highways England’s £250-£450m scheme to upgrade the A358, we call for:
1. A quality cycletrack between Ilminster and Taunton
2. Safe and attractive crossing to A358/Junction 25 at the M5-a bridge or a tunnel
3. Confirmation that wherever the road cuts across quiet rural lanes, safe crossings will be provided

Why is this important?

There is substantial scope to encourage more cycling to work and for other purposes, in the Ilminster-Taunton A358 corridor. There are numerous communities close by and a major 4000 job development is planned. Taunton is a designated Garden Town which means a bigger emphasis on sustainanble travel. The road scheme is an opportunity to address this. Doing it later will be far more costly. The A358 is a terrifying road to use. Why should people have to be terrified in order to take a simple journey? Instead, a cycletrack along the A358 could become part of the National Cycle Network benefiting families and children, as well as day to day cycling.

Please support our call for cycle provision as part of the A358 proposals by signing this petition. Thanks also to everyone who sent comments directly to Highways England.

We need your views

Please complete our new TACC survey to tell us where you would like future cycling funds to be spent

In 2018, we plan to work with Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council on developing a new cycling network plan for the Taunton area. The government has provided funding for consultants to work with Somerset County Council officers this year to develop a long term cycling plan.

We want to contribute to this. This work will be a necessary stepping stone to applying for new funding from the Government. What would you like to see in the plan?

Please tell us by doing this short confidential survey

Call for cycle parking at Lidl, Roman Road

We are calling on Lidl to install Sheffield racks close to the entrance to the their store, so that cyclist have somewhere to secure their bikes. Lidl came bottom of our recently compiled league table of supermarkets in Taunton cycle parking at supermarkets

We have contacted Lidl twice to ask for discussions.  They have not replied, which seems highly disrespectful. Taunton has above average levels of cycling and cycle theft is a real risk. There is ample car parking and it is probably unthinkable that the store would be allowed to operate without it. Cyclists also spend money at the store, so why shouldn’t they also have some convenient provision?

A group of TACC members recently visited the store to highlight the issue.

Lidl has no cycle parking facilities.There is ample car parking but no cycling parking at Lidl's as TACC shows in survey






Highways England’s A358 proposals – little on offer for cycling

Highways England (HE) is consulting on route options for the A358 Expressway until 27 Feb. They will be spending around £300m but there is little on offer for people wanting to use their cycles. There is the  golden opportunity of providing a direct quality link between Ilminster and Taunton, which we must press HE for. It is also an opportunity to substantially improve the situation for walking and cycling at J25, whether in the form of a bridge or tunnel.

To help peoThere is a golden opportunity of providing a direct quality cycle link between Ilminster and Taunton on the A358, which we must press Highways England for.ple respond, we have set out bullet points below. You can respond to HE by emailing or by going to their on line questionnaire. The questionnaire is rather detailed but you can put comments in Q12 and miss the detailed questions, if you wish. The questionnaire is at

The options and further information can be seen at 

Brochures are also available at Taunton Library.

If you respond, so you do us a quick email at so that we can track the level of response. Thanks!

TACC’s comments in response to the A358 consultation 

  • Good quality cycling infrastructure should be an essential feature of the scheme: to protect existing lanes/routes, deal with the barrier effect of existing A358 and provide real improvements in the cycling network.
  • There is latent demand to cycle Ilminster-Taunton. Existing road are very hostile. Safe route within A358 corridor needed with a cyclepath running alongside the new road. Pink option could enable space to be provided on the old road on the northern section. The HE are proposing to signpost country lanes as an alternative to the A358. These lanes get very dirty in the winter and aren’t always safe. HE should provide a purpose built path (especially as they will probably try to ban cycling on the A358).
  • Issues of crossing A358 for Horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians. Locations include: Ilton -Broadway; Ilton-Ashill; Ashill-Stawley; Battens Green-Caplan; Hatch Beauchamp-Bickenhill; Ash Cross; Ruishdon-Henlade. Improved, safer crossings are needed. Page 16 of the brochure suggests that some of these locations will be addressed with bridge crossings and this should be confirmed as a commitment from HE.
  • On the pink route, there is an inconsistency between the text in page 11 which says local road crossings will be bridges, and the diagram which raises doubts by using the word ’ possible’. Crossings should be provided and safe crossings will be needed at junctions B and C for walking, cycling, horse riding in line with IAN 195 in relation to cycling provision.
  • On the orange and blue routes routes there is an inconsistency between the text which says local road crossings will be bridges at Ash Cross, Stoke Hill, Shoreditch, Stoke Road, and the diagram which raises doubts by using the word ’possible’. Crossings should be provided and safe crossings will be needed at junctions D and E for walking, cycling, horse riding in line with IAN 195 for cycling provision.
  • A major issue will be a provision of a direct sustainable transport link between Taunton and Nexus, avoiding a series of crossings and convoluted route, as proposed by SCC. The A358 proposal should be seen as an opportuntiy to address this link.
  • In the pink and blue options there will need to be a crossing for people walking and cycling from Ruishton to the Nexus site.
  • The Park and Ride site is not recognised in the proposals and it is unclear how the Park and Ride will be accessed in the pink and blue options.
  • The highway strategy upon which the proposal is based, is flawed:
  1. We have been advised that the planned capacity of this new road is vastly greater than even the projected demand. The forecast 2 way flow in 2038 is 26,000, well below the 32,000 theoretical capacity for a single carriageway road, showing that a dual carriageway with 64,000 capacity would be a vast over provision.
  2. The extra traffic it would induce in the Taunton catchment area would place significant extra traffic on the Taunton network, to the detriment of non-motorised users, such as cyclists.
  3. The Benefit Cost Ratios (BCRs) on all 3 options are poor, ranging 1.64 to 2.08. It is supposed to be a government requirement that the BCR is a minimum of 2 i.e. the benefits (the monetised value of motorists time savings ) are double the construction costs of the road.  Costs will inevitably increase, so the actual BCRs will be less in practice. BCRs ignore environmental costs.
  4. While we recognise the strategic desire for a second motorway/expressway link to the south west peninsula, none of the A358 options provides the desired network reliability to the south west, as the M5 between Taunton and the A30/A38 west of Exeter would be the single motorway route to the peninsula. In the event of an incident on the M5 west of Taunton leading to the closure of one or both carriageways, the impact on local roads would be hugely detrimental, not least to cyclists. Incidents are fairly commonplace.
  • A quality cycling network could be constructed in Taunton at a fraction of this cost, and would bring huge health and traffic function benefits, with vastly better benefit-cost ratios than this scheme offers.
  • If HE do decide to plough ahead with this scheme, the pink option is preferred. It appears to impose lowest environmental damage and gives greatest relief to Henlade. There will need to be traffic management measures to discourage through traffic from using the old road. This could include cycle provision and bus priority measures.

Aldi tops cycle parking league table

Thanks to all TACC supporters who did the supermarket cycle parking survey providing data for 11 supermarkets. The new Aldi at Bathpool just edged it on the scoring. They have provided easy to use ‘Sheffield’ type racks, properly spaced, close to the entrance. Well done to Aldi.

Aldi supermarket tops the league in cycle parking facilities
Aldi Bathpool

The survey showed that some very basic errors are being made. Lidl at Castle Street has put its racks too close to the wall, there is a kerb to go up, it is some distance from the store entrance and you have to mix it in the car park.

Tesco have provided oddly shaped racks which are more difficult to secure a bike, and they are too close to a wall.

Lidl, Castle Street, has racks too close to the wall
Lidl, Castle Street

Parking a bike at Tesco Castle Street causes difficulties with securing the bicycle
Tesco, Castle Street

Worst of all, Lidl in Halcon and Tesco Express on Priorswood Road offer absolutely no cycle parking. Taunton Deane Borough Council are supposed to be ensuring that 1 cycle parking space is provided for every 80m2 of retail space, which in the case of some recent supermarkets has not been achieved. We need to ask the question – what is going wrong?
The full league table shows the results.

Cycle parking facilities near supermarkets (2018, n=11)
Supermarket Points scored Comments
Aldi Bathpool 20 This is a new store so it may get busier.
As the newest supermarket in town seems to have done a good job.
Morrisons Riverside/Firepool 19 More capacity needed here. It would also be good to have an official cycle access point at the northern end of the car park. There is a slope and footway access that I use.
Waitrose Wellington 17 They occasionally get blocked by trolleys.
Tesco Castle St 17 It’s poorly positioned with trolley racks and no passing space for wheelchairs.
This store has two bike parking areas. The one to the right of the main entrance has no easy access or egress other than on foot. The racks Tesco uses are a poor design. Their trolley racks are much better quality!
Cycle racks crowded and inadequate jammed in near a trolley park.
Sainsbury Hankridge 15
Sainsbury Town Centre 14 Numbers of cycle racks insufficient.
Asda near Toneway 14 There’s a sign near the racks indicating cycle parking.
Co-op Welllngton Road 12
Lidl Castle St 7 There is a large step up to the cycle parking requiring dismount to access.  A cyclepath runs past this store, yet a separate cycle access has not been provided from this lane, only a pedestrian access.  The railings by the main entrance are a better facility than the racks provided which are too close to the wall.
Lidl Halcon 0 No cycle parking. It has space to provide decent bike facilities but there is nothing present for cyclists, other than the trolley barriers, which will damage bikes.
This is a fairly recent store. It appears that TDBC didn’t check that their own standards had been met.
Tesco Express Priorswood Road 0 No cycle parking. Rack is turned on its side and not secured, and thus not safe.
Data were collected in December 2017 and January 2018. Scores are based on features like capacity, type of rack, space between racks and wall, availability of cover, distance to store and ease of access. A maximum of 21 points could be scored.


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