On Friday 20th April, members of TACC met Rebecca Pow MP at her office to ask her to present its on line petition to the Secretary of State for Transport and Highways England. She agreed that she will pass on our A358 call to the Secretary of State and also write to the Regional Director of Highways England in support, and also to Somerset County Council regarding Junction 25.
The petition asks as part of Highways England’s £250-£450m scheme to upgrade the A358 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
(The key on all the option maps in the Highways England public consultation document uses the words ‘Possible’ local road crossings).
The petition currently has 562 signatures and can be found on the homepage of the TACC website at www.thetacc.org.uk or at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/provide-a-cyclepath-with-the-a358-upgrading
Pip Sheard Spokesperson for TACC says: “The A358 is a terrifying road to use. Why should people have to be terrified in order to take a simple cycle 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.We are very pleased to have Rebecca Pow’s support for our petition.”
Rebecca Pow says: “I am very keen to encourage more people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes, but this is only realistically possible if the right cycle network is provided. There is a great opportunity to improve cycle connectivity from Taunton heading East as Junction 25 is improved and the new route for the A358 is planned. I would urge Highways England and Somerset County Council to ensure they make well designed provision for cycling. There are many people in Taunton Deane calling for this to be addressed and I fully support them. I like to get out on my bike myself, but I know how dangerous this can be if the correct infrastructure is not available.”