Disruption and anger at traffic gridlock in Taunton

Disruption and anger at traffic gridlock in Taunton

Disruption and anger at traffic gridlock in Taunton

Disruption and anger at traffic gridlock in Taunton

Disruption and anger at traffic gridlock in Taunton

First published in News

COMMUTERS late for work, patients missing appointments, restaurant diners and hotel guests cancelling, learner drivers stuck in jams - welcome to gridlock Taunton.

The county town has suffered traffic problems for years, but patience is running thin for long-suffering motorists and people travelling on public transport caught up in the congestion on our roads.

We’re told it’s caused by work on a new road, streets being dug up to replace rusting water mains and traffic lights changing too quickly – but we’re promised it’s only temporary and things will improve.

Work on the £22million Northern Inner Distributor Road linking Staplegrove Road at Chip Lane and Priory Avenue via Firepool should end early next year.

And Wessex Water’s scheme renewing mains between Upper High Street and Mary Street – which has stopped traffic turning right into The Crescent – will take another six weeks.

Craig Moore, of Green4Go driving school, said staff are selective where they take learners.

“There are areas of Taunton we can’t touch,” said Mr Moore, who has seen drivers beating tailbacks with illegal manoeuvres.

“Traffic’s backed up on the Third Way because the traffic light sequence doesn’t work by Pizza Express; the work on the new roundabout at Wickes seems to flow fairly well; but a one-way system in Priory Avenue next week will cause problems.

“Students are paying £20 to be stuck in jams – one lesson on Tuesday, we didn’t move for 25 minutes.

“I don’t know how anybody could have planned everything at once. It’s frustrating and someone should look at it coming into the summer.”

Guy Patey, St James Medical Centre practice manager, said patients stuck in traffic should call the surgery to put back their appointments.

He added: “At periods of greatest demand, this may not be possible, resulting in the need to re-book.

“Doctors and staff also experience inconvenience resulting from traffic delays, most notably when undertaking home visits for patients.

“We’ll be relieved when the current round of improvements is complete.”

Some procedures at Musgrove Park Hospital were delayed last week due to patients arriving late.

Kit Chapman, of The Castle hotel and Brazz, said: “It took me 45 minutes on Tuesday afternoon to get out of Taunton.

“People arrive late. It affects business as people don’t want to go anywhere near the town centre.

“We’ve had cancellations from diners and guests.”

Berrys Coaches are struggling to keep buses on time - Caroline Ling said: “It’s been hard, but it’s something we have to live with at the moment. There’s not much we can do about it.”

Mark Tutton, of The Scrumper deli and canteen, said: “It’s putting at least another 20 minutes on our lunchtime delivery round. Everything’s pretty hectic.”

Linda Howarth, of Pain et Vin sandwich bar, said: “The traffic at the moment is absolutely appalling.

“It took me 15 minutes in the car to deliver sandwiches just behind Castle School - it usually takes that time to get to Wellington.”

Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne said some of the problems are down to Taunton’s layout and the completion of the NIDR should help.

But he added: “The roadworks are taking too long and the phasing of some traffic lights is making the congestion worse.

“I’ve contacted the county council about Taunton’s congestion - they need to have a proper plan to improve the traffic flow because it’s causing real problems for residents and businesses in Taunton.

“I support the NIDR, but the roadworks around the Shell garage (Priory Bridge Road) have been going on for months. It must be possible to complete these projects without causing such severe disruption.”

A Somerset County Council spokesman said NIDR work is “going well” and once complete will help relieve town centre traffic – “something we’re sure will be welcomed by residents and drivers,” he said.

“Most of the current congestion in the town centre is as a result of the major works being carried out by Wessex Water.”

Phil Luxton, Wessex Water’s project manager for the £16million Clean and Clear operation to upgrade ageing mains, said: "We understand work is taking place within a busy section of the town and ask that people are patient while we complete the work as quickly as possible.”

Comments (42)

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1:24pm Thu 8 May 14

Slow down! says...

These works must be costing businesses ££££££s, will there be any compensation available from Wessex Water?

Oh and I’m afraid to say but the NIDR will only cause even more hold ups at Stalpegrove road so the problem will not be solved just moved and made even bigger to another area of the town.

Also the top of East Reach has become very dangerous as cars now pull around the blocked off lane pulling into the path of oncoming traffic to go into the town centre, please re open it!!!!
These works must be costing businesses ££££££s, will there be any compensation available from Wessex Water? Oh and I’m afraid to say but the NIDR will only cause even more hold ups at Stalpegrove road so the problem will not be solved just moved and made even bigger to another area of the town. Also the top of East Reach has become very dangerous as cars now pull around the blocked off lane pulling into the path of oncoming traffic to go into the town centre, please re open it!!!! Slow down!
  • Score: 15

2:39pm Thu 8 May 14

MavisMcMort says...

The roadworks and waterworks may have made the traffic problem in Taunton worse, but let's face it, it's been a nightmare driving into Taunton for at least a decade. The problems stem from the multitude of traffic lights - an example is the Silk Mills Road, which is slower and more clogged now than it was when the level crossing was regularly holding up cars for 10 minutes at a time. When I asked at the time why they weren't putting mini-roundabouts in rather than traffic lights, I was told it was a deliberate policy to keep the traffic slow, to deter people from driving into Taunton. Similarly, the Wellington Road entrance to Musgrove Park Hospital should have been a mini-roundabout rather than yet another new set of traffic lights - it can take up to half an hour just to get out of the hospital. I can honestly say that the congestion in Taunton is worse than any congestion I ever encountered in my 20-odd years living and working (and driving) in London. Replace every traffic light with a mini-roundabout and most of the problem would just disappear. This solution is so simple that I can only assume that they really are trying to deter people from driving into Taunton, but it is evidently not working; time to think again.
The roadworks and waterworks may have made the traffic problem in Taunton worse, but let's face it, it's been a nightmare driving into Taunton for at least a decade. The problems stem from the multitude of traffic lights - an example is the Silk Mills Road, which is slower and more clogged now than it was when the level crossing was regularly holding up cars for 10 minutes at a time. When I asked at the time why they weren't putting mini-roundabouts in rather than traffic lights, I was told it was a deliberate policy to keep the traffic slow, to deter people from driving into Taunton. Similarly, the Wellington Road entrance to Musgrove Park Hospital should have been a mini-roundabout rather than yet another new set of traffic lights - it can take up to half an hour just to get out of the hospital. I can honestly say that the congestion in Taunton is worse than any congestion I ever encountered in my 20-odd years living and working (and driving) in London. Replace every traffic light with a mini-roundabout and most of the problem would just disappear. This solution is so simple that I can only assume that they really are trying to deter people from driving into Taunton, but it is evidently not working; time to think again. MavisMcMort
  • Score: 31

2:40pm Thu 8 May 14

TauntonBloke29 says...

It is a nightmare. Don't let the council fool you into thinking it is just Wessex Water's fault. Before they started the water works the traffic was awful on Priory Bridge and then going onto station road and beyond. The 3rd Way is a joke during peak times. The traffic light sequence is terrible. There is no joined up thinking or communication of the overall vision - at least if we knew what there was to look forward to it wouldn't seem so bad..perhaps. What will this new road do? Won't it just funnel traffic a different way? It's not going to remove it out of Taunton is it? It is just going to shift it elsewhere...
It is a nightmare. Don't let the council fool you into thinking it is just Wessex Water's fault. Before they started the water works the traffic was awful on Priory Bridge and then going onto station road and beyond. The 3rd Way is a joke during peak times. The traffic light sequence is terrible. There is no joined up thinking or communication of the overall vision - at least if we knew what there was to look forward to it wouldn't seem so bad..perhaps. What will this new road do? Won't it just funnel traffic a different way? It's not going to remove it out of Taunton is it? It is just going to shift it elsewhere... TauntonBloke29
  • Score: 29

3:23pm Thu 8 May 14

johnkeep says...

Taunton will remain clogged until it gets a proper ring road system to take traffic out of the centre. Millions have been spent over the years on schemes which just get traffic to the next traffic jam a bit quicker. Our local road planners couldn't organise a party in a brewery !

John Keep
Taunton will remain clogged until it gets a proper ring road system to take traffic out of the centre. Millions have been spent over the years on schemes which just get traffic to the next traffic jam a bit quicker. Our local road planners couldn't organise a party in a brewery ! John Keep johnkeep
  • Score: 38

4:10pm Thu 8 May 14

CannotFindAUserNAme says...

Why has the work stopped at Staplegrove? Why cant that be finished off, as its dangerous. Why are both sides NOT coned off? Cars are parked outside the houses, causing traffic to stop. What is the final plan, once the road is open, will cars be allowed to park there? Will it be double yellows? Goto Wickes at the weekend - not one workman is present - surely by now - some office muppet, should be kicking ****. Come on TDBC - pull your finger out - insist that the hours worked - are longer. While you are at it - cut the grass around roundabouts - they are becoming a hazard. You have to actually move onto some of the roundabouts - to see what is coming.
Why has the work stopped at Staplegrove? Why cant that be finished off, as its dangerous. Why are both sides NOT coned off? Cars are parked outside the houses, causing traffic to stop. What is the final plan, once the road is open, will cars be allowed to park there? Will it be double yellows? Goto Wickes at the weekend - not one workman is present - surely by now - some office muppet, should be kicking ****. Come on TDBC - pull your finger out - insist that the hours worked - are longer. While you are at it - cut the grass around roundabouts - they are becoming a hazard. You have to actually move onto some of the roundabouts - to see what is coming. CannotFindAUserNAme
  • Score: 25

4:12pm Thu 8 May 14

CannotFindAUserNAme says...

Mavis - if they put in roundabouts - the councillors wouldn't get any back handers from the traffic lights companies. They must get there perks.
Mavis - if they put in roundabouts - the councillors wouldn't get any back handers from the traffic lights companies. They must get there perks. CannotFindAUserNAme
  • Score: 19

4:13pm Thu 8 May 14

K-78 says...

Regrettably, the current situation is the result of decades of poor strategic vision from a council that is placing high stakes bets on what the next solution will be in the dusty filing cabinet.
@Johnkeep is correct that the town needs "a proper ring road system" and until it does businesses and residents will continue to laugh at White Elephant projects such as the 3rd Way and the Northern Inner Relief Road that made some sense 20 years ago, but not now.
@MavisMcMort is also correct - the bias towards traffic lights suggests motorists cant be trusted to know when to go, or to give way. Mini-roundabouts would vastly improve traffic flow.
Regrettably, the current situation is the result of decades of poor strategic vision from a council that is placing high stakes bets on what the next solution will be in the dusty filing cabinet. @Johnkeep is correct that the town needs "a proper ring road system" and until it does businesses and residents will continue to laugh at White Elephant projects such as the 3rd Way and the Northern Inner Relief Road that made some sense 20 years ago, but not now. @MavisMcMort is also correct - the bias towards traffic lights suggests motorists cant be trusted to know when to go, or to give way. Mini-roundabouts would vastly improve traffic flow. K-78
  • Score: 10

6:47pm Thu 8 May 14

ladybird14 says...

why the bloody hell are they digging up so many roads at once ????!!!!
why the bloody hell are they digging up so many roads at once ????!!!! ladybird14
  • Score: 24

6:54pm Thu 8 May 14

stevec21 says...

Slow down! wrote:
These works must be costing businesses ££££££s, will there be any compensation available from Wessex Water?

Oh and I’m afraid to say but the NIDR will only cause even more hold ups at Stalpegrove road so the problem will not be solved just moved and made even bigger to another area of the town.

Also the top of East Reach has become very dangerous as cars now pull around the blocked off lane pulling into the path of oncoming traffic to go into the town centre, please re open it!!!!
As a small business owner in town I can confirm that these works are costing businesses money! It's a nightmare! It is taking us 1hr 20mins to get into town from Bishops Lydeard, most of which is just sat at a complete standstill with the rest of Taunton.
Our business relies on footfall and if people cant get into town then our footfall drops off considerably. We are constantly opening the shop late due to being stuck in traffic which again losses us money.
Something needs to be done asap as if this continues small businesses will struggle and go under before the works are complete.
Compensation from Wessex Water would ease the financial situation but they will make you jump through so many hoops it would takes months! Maybe TDBC should waiver Business Rates whilst the work is carried out to compensate rather than burying their heads in the sand and doing nothing!
SORT IT OUT!!!!!!!!1
[quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: These works must be costing businesses ££££££s, will there be any compensation available from Wessex Water? Oh and I’m afraid to say but the NIDR will only cause even more hold ups at Stalpegrove road so the problem will not be solved just moved and made even bigger to another area of the town. Also the top of East Reach has become very dangerous as cars now pull around the blocked off lane pulling into the path of oncoming traffic to go into the town centre, please re open it!!!![/p][/quote]As a small business owner in town I can confirm that these works are costing businesses money! It's a nightmare! It is taking us 1hr 20mins to get into town from Bishops Lydeard, most of which is just sat at a complete standstill with the rest of Taunton. Our business relies on footfall and if people cant get into town then our footfall drops off considerably. We are constantly opening the shop late due to being stuck in traffic which again losses us money. Something needs to be done asap as if this continues small businesses will struggle and go under before the works are complete. Compensation from Wessex Water would ease the financial situation but they will make you jump through so many hoops it would takes months! Maybe TDBC should waiver Business Rates whilst the work is carried out to compensate rather than burying their heads in the sand and doing nothing! SORT IT OUT!!!!!!!!1 stevec21
  • Score: 19

7:31pm Thu 8 May 14

TrafficChaosTaunton says...

Took a huge detour to get home tonight...very fed up with the situation. Total gridlock at 4.10pm on Wellington Road and towards the Third Way (hate that name!).
The problem here is leadership - or lack of it. There is no real leadership for Taunton - that's why it isn't moving forwards (congestion, Project Taunton, not enough to attract people compared with Exeter).
I don't blame TDBC for road problems. Highways is Somerset County Council's responsibility, but they clearly do not give a monkey's about congestion in Taunton. Its all piecemeal projects rather than a proper large scale plan. If there was a decent distributor/ring road, with access to car parks, the centre would have less cars crawling through it, then walking & cycling become far more pleasant. The Park & Rides are good ideas, but the M5 one is a hassle to get to in rush hour, with a slow bus connection, caught in the congestion...
But sadly SCC only seem bothered about cutting services. A unitary for Taunton is the only real answer - lets vote SCC out of existence!
Took a huge detour to get home tonight...very fed up with the situation. Total gridlock at 4.10pm on Wellington Road and towards the Third Way (hate that name!). The problem here is leadership - or lack of it. There is no real leadership for Taunton - that's why it isn't moving forwards (congestion, Project Taunton, not enough to attract people compared with Exeter). I don't blame TDBC for road problems. Highways is Somerset County Council's responsibility, but they clearly do not give a monkey's about congestion in Taunton. Its all piecemeal projects rather than a proper large scale plan. If there was a decent distributor/ring road, with access to car parks, the centre would have less cars crawling through it, then walking & cycling become far more pleasant. The Park & Rides are good ideas, but the M5 one is a hassle to get to in rush hour, with a slow bus connection, caught in the congestion... But sadly SCC only seem bothered about cutting services. A unitary for Taunton is the only real answer - lets vote SCC out of existence! TrafficChaosTaunton
  • Score: 26

8:35pm Thu 8 May 14

lordparker says...

Can anyone tell me why the hell the top of East Reach is closed for 16 weeks.. there is no-one working in that area!! it makes no sense whatsoever It seems to me like it's a test to see how traffic flows with that link into East Street Blocked off.

Somerset County council should have taken more time to plan this properly, maybe less meetings with hours of useless waffle and more action..... Next we'll have road closures for Rod Stewart!!

It would also have been nice if the Water company had got together with Cable Providers and brought the 21st century to Taunton while they dug the roads network up
Can anyone tell me why the hell the top of East Reach is closed for 16 weeks.. there is no-one working in that area!! it makes no sense whatsoever It seems to me like it's a test to see how traffic flows with that link into East Street Blocked off. Somerset County council should have taken more time to plan this properly, maybe less meetings with hours of useless waffle and more action..... Next we'll have road closures for Rod Stewart!! It would also have been nice if the Water company had got together with Cable Providers and brought the 21st century to Taunton while they dug the roads network up lordparker
  • Score: 20

8:41pm Thu 8 May 14

Schoolboy Q says...

I'm curious as to why the top of East Reach is closed to inbound traffic?

Therefore sending an incredible amount of traffic around Silver St and Hurdle Way, just to get back onto Silver St and continue the journey onto East St.

All the traffic coming up East Reach that dares to bypass the blockade by going right into Tancred St and continuing via Duke St, Magdalene St and Hammet St, are met with further traffic backed up along Hammet St from the Parade roundabout.

Vehicles cannot move due to the volume of traffic coming from the right - from North St, but mainly from Corporation St.

Any traffic that would normally travel along Upper High St towards Sainsburys is now coming along Park St and into Corporation St and causing traffic build up on the Parade. Add to the increase in traffic travelling around Compass Hill to return along Park St just to get to the Cresent! Spend 30 mins sat in traffic...and it's clear to see.

And Bridge St/Third Way/Staplegrove Rd/Station Rd traffic issue has been like it since the Third Way was implemented and an idiot programmed the traffic light system incorrectly. If you and I can see this, why can't those who are accountable for these systems also see it?

(Note: I cycle into town to work every day, however on my day off I am encouraged by my partner to drive into town with our daughter for lunch and a spot of shopping. "Her" choice, not mine. But I'm obliged.)
I'm curious as to why the top of East Reach is closed to inbound traffic? Therefore sending an incredible amount of traffic around Silver St and Hurdle Way, just to get back onto Silver St and continue the journey onto East St. All the traffic coming up East Reach that dares to bypass the blockade by going right into Tancred St and continuing via Duke St, Magdalene St and Hammet St, are met with further traffic backed up along Hammet St from the Parade roundabout. Vehicles cannot move due to the volume of traffic coming from the right - from North St, but mainly from Corporation St. Any traffic that would normally travel along Upper High St towards Sainsburys is now coming along Park St and into Corporation St and causing traffic build up on the Parade. Add to the increase in traffic travelling around Compass Hill to return along Park St just to get to the Cresent! Spend 30 mins sat in traffic...and it's clear to see. And Bridge St/Third Way/Staplegrove Rd/Station Rd traffic issue has been like it since the Third Way was implemented and an idiot programmed the traffic light system incorrectly. If you and I can see this, why can't those who are accountable for these systems also see it? (Note: I cycle into town to work every day, however on my day off I am encouraged by my partner to drive into town with our daughter for lunch and a spot of shopping. "Her" choice, not mine. But I'm obliged.) Schoolboy Q
  • Score: 30

9:14pm Thu 8 May 14

Little_Owly says...

I would certainly agree with MavisMcMort, the exit from the hospital onto Wellington Road is APPALLING. The lights change so quickly that usually only 3 or 4 cars manage to escape before they go red again. If cars are waiting to come out of Parkside/Beacon and they are allowed to come out first then sometimes the traffic doesnt move at all. For a large county hospital with only two exits this is really bad. I have sat in the queue for twenty minutes or so just waiting my turn. A roundabout would solve this problem. Leaving the hospital by Parkfield Road can sometimes take just as long. Tailbacks can lead half way back to the hospital. Main problem seems to be that at the traffic lights by the Corner House Hotel there is no left turn. Could never work out why there is no left turn. If you want to use the Third Way you have to turn right, join the queue of traffic up Park Street (that sometimes never moves), up Cann Street then go up over Compass Hill, often nearly getting side swiped by cars coming down from the Trull Road or Upper High Street. Then through 2 sets of traffic lights (the one nearest Tesco being VERY slow to change, before you can get onto the Third Way. Why not just turn left at the end of Parkfield??? I don't get it.

Other traffic light problems by the train station. Sat at red light by train station entrance this morning. Watched the lights change twice by the Crown and Sceptre but my lights stayed red. No traffic leaving the train station. Me sat there twiddling my thumbs. Not much traffic around at 6.50 am yet still sat there waiting. I don't get it.

A small kid playing Sim City on a computer could design a better transport network than Taunton has at the moment.
I would certainly agree with MavisMcMort, the exit from the hospital onto Wellington Road is APPALLING. The lights change so quickly that usually only 3 or 4 cars manage to escape before they go red again. If cars are waiting to come out of Parkside/Beacon and they are allowed to come out first then sometimes the traffic doesnt move at all. For a large county hospital with only two exits this is really bad. I have sat in the queue for twenty minutes or so just waiting my turn. A roundabout would solve this problem. Leaving the hospital by Parkfield Road can sometimes take just as long. Tailbacks can lead half way back to the hospital. Main problem seems to be that at the traffic lights by the Corner House Hotel there is no left turn. Could never work out why there is no left turn. If you want to use the Third Way you have to turn right, join the queue of traffic up Park Street (that sometimes never moves), up Cann Street then go up over Compass Hill, often nearly getting side swiped by cars coming down from the Trull Road or Upper High Street. Then through 2 sets of traffic lights (the one nearest Tesco being VERY slow to change, before you can get onto the Third Way. Why not just turn left at the end of Parkfield??? I don't get it. Other traffic light problems by the train station. Sat at red light by train station entrance this morning. Watched the lights change twice by the Crown and Sceptre but my lights stayed red. No traffic leaving the train station. Me sat there twiddling my thumbs. Not much traffic around at 6.50 am yet still sat there waiting. I don't get it. A small kid playing Sim City on a computer could design a better transport network than Taunton has at the moment. Little_Owly
  • Score: 26

10:16pm Thu 8 May 14

StevePeters says...

And, of course, the muppets at Somerset Waste Partnership make matters even worse by insisting that waste collection lorries have to be on the road at rush-hour rather than later on in the day.
And, of course, the muppets at Somerset Waste Partnership make matters even worse by insisting that waste collection lorries have to be on the road at rush-hour rather than later on in the day. StevePeters
  • Score: 15

10:07am Fri 9 May 14

Slow down! says...

StevePeters wrote:
And, of course, the muppets at Somerset Waste Partnership make matters even worse by insisting that waste collection lorries have to be on the road at rush-hour rather than later on in the day.
That drives me nuts!
[quote][p][bold]StevePeters[/bold] wrote: And, of course, the muppets at Somerset Waste Partnership make matters even worse by insisting that waste collection lorries have to be on the road at rush-hour rather than later on in the day.[/p][/quote]That drives me nuts! Slow down!
  • Score: 9

10:44am Fri 9 May 14

I Hate CSC says...

There is no thinking in Taunton apart from how to gridlock it and make people late. Everything seems designed to provide maximum disruption to traffic flow. Plenty of examples like the lights on silk mills changing to red when they detect a car coming, even when the park and ride is closed, no box junction at Mountway Road to stop cars getting out at rush hour, lights that are biased to prevent people turning right at Mountway Road, the filter lights at Bishop Foxs not filtering at peak school run times, all the lights on east reach that only allow two cars out at a time from the side roads and as has been mentioned, blocking off east street for no apparent reason whatsoever. There has to be a motive behind all of this, nobody with the qualifications needed to work in planning would be this retarded, surely?
There is no thinking in Taunton apart from how to gridlock it and make people late. Everything seems designed to provide maximum disruption to traffic flow. Plenty of examples like the lights on silk mills changing to red when they detect a car coming, even when the park and ride is closed, no box junction at Mountway Road to stop cars getting out at rush hour, lights that are biased to prevent people turning right at Mountway Road, the filter lights at Bishop Foxs not filtering at peak school run times, all the lights on east reach that only allow two cars out at a time from the side roads and as has been mentioned, blocking off east street for no apparent reason whatsoever. There has to be a motive behind all of this, nobody with the qualifications needed to work in planning would be this retarded, surely? I Hate CSC
  • Score: 10

1:07pm Fri 9 May 14

Jamesey says...

StevePeters wrote:
And, of course, the muppets at Somerset Waste Partnership make matters even worse by insisting that waste collection lorries have to be on the road at rush-hour rather than later on in the day.
It's always going to cause some disruption when they collect the refuse, but I agree that sometimes they just don't use any common sense. I've witnessed two vehicles causing chaos by doing collections in opposite directions at the same time on the same road during rush hour! The worst thing is that the road was the one to the hospital that ambulances often use!
[quote][p][bold]StevePeters[/bold] wrote: And, of course, the muppets at Somerset Waste Partnership make matters even worse by insisting that waste collection lorries have to be on the road at rush-hour rather than later on in the day.[/p][/quote]It's always going to cause some disruption when they collect the refuse, but I agree that sometimes they just don't use any common sense. I've witnessed two vehicles causing chaos by doing collections in opposite directions at the same time on the same road during rush hour! The worst thing is that the road was the one to the hospital that ambulances often use! Jamesey
  • Score: 13

1:36pm Fri 9 May 14

Jamesey says...

There are definitely problems with Taunton's roads, but for some to believe that this is caused deliberatley is just daft.

Also, roundabouts would not solve the problems. They do not adequately cater for pedestrians and only work effectively with certain traffic flows from each direction.

There are often perfectly rational explanations for situations that are baffling for those with no traffic planning experience. For example, the "no left turn" out of Parkfield Road enables pedestrians to cross safely, whilst the main traffic flow on Wellington Road is stopped for the shortest amount of time.

In my view, tough decisions need to be made to sort out the traffic problems. These will include new and improved roads, more double yellow lines (for example along Wellington Road by the Esso Garage) and plenty of investment.
There are definitely problems with Taunton's roads, but for some to believe that this is caused deliberatley is just daft. Also, roundabouts would not solve the problems. They do not adequately cater for pedestrians and only work effectively with certain traffic flows from each direction. There are often perfectly rational explanations for situations that are baffling for those with no traffic planning experience. For example, the "no left turn" out of Parkfield Road enables pedestrians to cross safely, whilst the main traffic flow on Wellington Road is stopped for the shortest amount of time. In my view, tough decisions need to be made to sort out the traffic problems. These will include new and improved roads, more double yellow lines (for example along Wellington Road by the Esso Garage) and plenty of investment. Jamesey
  • Score: -5

3:04pm Fri 9 May 14

frank065 says...

TDBC clearly think motorists are stupid
Let anyone try to drive down silk mills in the middle of night, only to find all the lights prioritising joining traffic (even from the closed park and ride) and still believe that they are even remotley intersted in keeping traffic moving.
Just a bunch of completely useless pencil necks
TDBC clearly think motorists are stupid Let anyone try to drive down silk mills in the middle of night, only to find all the lights prioritising joining traffic (even from the closed park and ride) and still believe that they are even remotley intersted in keeping traffic moving. Just a bunch of completely useless pencil necks frank065
  • Score: 29

3:10pm Fri 9 May 14

Christmascake says...

Of course the traffic problems are caused deliberately (at least in part)! Reducing the available lanes at the junction of Station Road/Priory Bridge Road was an early example, only partly reversed later due to public pressure. A similar tactic has since been employed in reducing the lanes at the Staplegrove Road/Bridge Street junction.

I have no doubt that this has been done in the name of road safety, like the "no left turn" out of Parkfield Road, and the ludicrously low speed limits on Silk Mills Road and elsewhere (most recently the dual carriageway heading out to the motorway). The problem is the balance has gone wrong. The County Council traffic moguls have become Health 'n Safety obsessed.

What we need is some common sense.
Of course the traffic problems are caused deliberately (at least in part)! Reducing the available lanes at the junction of Station Road/Priory Bridge Road was an early example, only partly reversed later due to public pressure. A similar tactic has since been employed in reducing the lanes at the Staplegrove Road/Bridge Street junction. I have no doubt that this has been done in the name of road safety, like the "no left turn" out of Parkfield Road, and the ludicrously low speed limits on Silk Mills Road and elsewhere (most recently the dual carriageway heading out to the motorway). The problem is the balance has gone wrong. The County Council traffic moguls have become Health 'n Safety obsessed. What we need is some common sense. Christmascake
  • Score: 18

3:56pm Fri 9 May 14

Jamesey says...

The "No left turn" out of Parkfield Road has more to do with improving traffic flow than health and safety. You have to provide a means for pedestrians to cross and this has been done by using the same traffic light phase as for the traffic emerging from Parkfield Road.

Again, it shows a misunderstanding of the situation. In this case, the traffic planners should be applauded for setting up a system that maximises the traffic flow.

But there are many areas where the system doesn't work. It would be useful if someone with real knowledge of the traffic systems in Taunton were to address some of the points raised in this thread. Then we could engage in a proper deabate using the real facts.
The "No left turn" out of Parkfield Road has more to do with improving traffic flow than health and safety. You have to provide a means for pedestrians to cross and this has been done by using the same traffic light phase as for the traffic emerging from Parkfield Road. Again, it shows a misunderstanding of the situation. In this case, the traffic planners should be applauded for setting up a system that maximises the traffic flow. But there are many areas where the system doesn't work. It would be useful if someone with real knowledge of the traffic systems in Taunton were to address some of the points raised in this thread. Then we could engage in a proper deabate using the real facts. Jamesey
  • Score: 9

6:42pm Fri 9 May 14

Bubblesbonbon says...

The facts are obvious - Just try driving through Taunton from anywhere on the A38.. I had to take the wife for a routine appointment in Musgrove on Tuesday and the chaos at the Parkfield Road/ Wellington Road junction was horrific. Pedestrians had no problem crossing because traffic was at standstill for at least 15 minutes a time due to the rediculous traffic light synching
Traffic planners? - Not only Taunton but the A39 Bridgwater to Minehead road is encased in roadworks at Wembdon AND Carhampton at the same time. Buses 30mins late and Butlins nearly cut off.
Very noticable that our local MP's are keeping thier heads down but what's new?
The facts are obvious - Just try driving through Taunton from anywhere on the A38.. I had to take the wife for a routine appointment in Musgrove on Tuesday and the chaos at the Parkfield Road/ Wellington Road junction was horrific. Pedestrians had no problem crossing because traffic was at standstill for at least 15 minutes a time due to the rediculous traffic light synching Traffic planners? - Not only Taunton but the A39 Bridgwater to Minehead road is encased in roadworks at Wembdon AND Carhampton at the same time. Buses 30mins late and Butlins nearly cut off. Very noticable that our local MP's are keeping thier heads down but what's new? Bubblesbonbon
  • Score: 17

7:53pm Fri 9 May 14

Dr Dave says...

I was going to say, Bridgwater is suffering just as badly, the roadworks at Cannington and Wembdon are causing horrendous tailbacks!
I was going to say, Bridgwater is suffering just as badly, the roadworks at Cannington and Wembdon are causing horrendous tailbacks! Dr Dave
  • Score: 10

8:04pm Fri 9 May 14

boliston says...

I have driven in many towns all over the UK and generally find them to get pretty clogged up during rush hour and Taunton is no exception. I have found a big factor to be whether or not it's term time as in the school holidays the jams are not nearly so bad. There is no doubt that when a lot of people choose to drive all at the same time on the same bits of road then it does not take a genuis to predict that there will be congestion.
I have driven in many towns all over the UK and generally find them to get pretty clogged up during rush hour and Taunton is no exception. I have found a big factor to be whether or not it's term time as in the school holidays the jams are not nearly so bad. There is no doubt that when a lot of people choose to drive all at the same time on the same bits of road then it does not take a genuis to predict that there will be congestion. boliston
  • Score: 14

8:50pm Fri 9 May 14

saintstreaky says...

I find it difficult to sympathise with Taunton drivers when they don't make best use of the road space provided.

Just as an example, yes, there is a problem coming out of the hospital onto Wellington Road - I often sit on a bus there and it's a pain. But this isn't helped because drivers going out along Wellington Road refuse to use both lanes at that junction, and insist on only using the right-hand one. If they used both (exactly as the signs ask them to do) and merged after the junction more time could be given to the hospital arm. Some people would gain, no-one would lose - yet somehow drivers don't seem to think that's a sensible thing to do.
I find it difficult to sympathise with Taunton drivers when they don't make best use of the road space provided. Just as an example, yes, there is a problem coming out of the hospital onto Wellington Road - I often sit on a bus there and it's a pain. But this isn't helped because drivers going out along Wellington Road refuse to use both lanes at that junction, and insist on only using the right-hand one. If they used both (exactly as the signs ask them to do) and merged after the junction more time could be given to the hospital arm. Some people would gain, no-one would lose - yet somehow drivers don't seem to think that's a sensible thing to do. saintstreaky
  • Score: 4

6:29am Sat 10 May 14

ladybird14 says...

there is such thing as rush hour in taunton any more its like it all the bloody time due to the road works !! i think everyone should just try and boycot taunton altogether i know this will be un-fair on traders but it may make someone pull their fingers out causes just looking to park yesterday took over an hour being suck in traffic and roads closed its a bloody joke!!!
there is such thing as rush hour in taunton any more its like it all the bloody time due to the road works !! i think everyone should just try and boycot taunton altogether i know this will be un-fair on traders but it may make someone pull their fingers out causes just looking to park yesterday took over an hour being suck in traffic and roads closed its a bloody joke!!! ladybird14
  • Score: 10

7:41am Sat 10 May 14

Dr Dave says...

Shop online from the comfort of your sofa, simple!
Shop online from the comfort of your sofa, simple! Dr Dave
  • Score: 7

9:12am Sat 10 May 14

Phil TT says...

If the planners had one more brain cells we could water them.
If the planners had one more brain cells we could water them. Phil TT
  • Score: 12

3:11pm Sat 10 May 14

blackmasquerade says...

frank065 wrote:
TDBC clearly think motorists are stupid
Let anyone try to drive down silk mills in the middle of night, only to find all the lights prioritising joining traffic (even from the closed park and ride) and still believe that they are even remotley intersted in keeping traffic moving.
Just a bunch of completely useless pencil necks
Highways are not TDBC's responsibility as this falls under the county. However, as I've said many times, SCC is hellbent on creating congestion just so that it can blame it on the volume of traffic.

Current congestion aside, anyone can see what a complete &@£$ up they've made of things and continue to do so. The Toneway should never be less than 50mph, ditto Silk Mills beyond Bishop's Hull & Bindon Rd, while I note they are now planning to reduce the speed limit on the A38 between Walford X & N Petherton (incidentally, why is the A38 to Wellington still predominately 30 mph?). I regret to say it but I either shop online or visit Exeter/Bristol, even Bridgwater as frankly I can't be bothered to battle my way through the queues into Taunton any more than absolutely necessary. Well done SCC Highways, who would be more at home in a circus along with the other clowns than running a public service!
[quote][p][bold]frank065[/bold] wrote: TDBC clearly think motorists are stupid Let anyone try to drive down silk mills in the middle of night, only to find all the lights prioritising joining traffic (even from the closed park and ride) and still believe that they are even remotley intersted in keeping traffic moving. Just a bunch of completely useless pencil necks[/p][/quote]Highways are not TDBC's responsibility as this falls under the county. However, as I've said many times, SCC is hellbent on creating congestion just so that it can blame it on the volume of traffic. Current congestion aside, anyone can see what a complete &@£$ up they've made of things and continue to do so. The Toneway should never be less than 50mph, ditto Silk Mills beyond Bishop's Hull & Bindon Rd, while I note they are now planning to reduce the speed limit on the A38 between Walford X & N Petherton (incidentally, why is the A38 to Wellington still predominately 30 mph?). I regret to say it but I either shop online or visit Exeter/Bristol, even Bridgwater as frankly I can't be bothered to battle my way through the queues into Taunton any more than absolutely necessary. Well done SCC Highways, who would be more at home in a circus along with the other clowns than running a public service! blackmasquerade
  • Score: 15

4:46pm Sat 10 May 14

Nomadic. says...

Frankly its just not working, I'm surprised that the Somerset county council haven't started sending parking attendants to fine people for parking in the town centre. , and the planed considerations to pave off the centre of Taunton are just stupid,
Frankly its just not working, I'm surprised that the Somerset county council haven't started sending parking attendants to fine people for parking in the town centre. , and the planed considerations to pave off the centre of Taunton are just stupid, Nomadic.
  • Score: 6

4:59pm Sat 10 May 14

JRocker7 says...

The main problem is not "more people choosing to drive" it's that there are not enough roads to handle a normal amount of traffic for an area this populated, and to make it worse there are horrendous traffic light sequences everywhere. In my opinion, the busiest direction of traffic at a given traffic light should be green and STAY green unless there are cars coming the other way or pedestrians that need to cross. It's a waste of time, fuel, and brake pads to have to needlessly stop at a light that just turned red for no apparent reason only to immediately turn green again the second you come to a stop. I notice this most on Silk Mills and the Third Way but I drive there more than most other places.

I used to live in New York City and regularly drive in the city and the traffic flow and traffic jams in Taunton are far worse. It is 100% down to terrible planning and an overall mentality in the area that resists change like it's the work of the devil. There are lots of people that don't want new, more efficient roads and who are absolutely terrified that adding new roads, a ring road, or making existing roads into dual carriageways (Wellington Road) will be the end of life in the southwest as we know it. Without significant change and making tough decisions that might not always be popular these problems will continue.

Somerset County Council needs to be held responsible for this and stop listening to the archaic opinions of the minority who don't want change.
The main problem is not "more people choosing to drive" it's that there are not enough roads to handle a normal amount of traffic for an area this populated, and to make it worse there are horrendous traffic light sequences everywhere. In my opinion, the busiest direction of traffic at a given traffic light should be green and STAY green unless there are cars coming the other way or pedestrians that need to cross. It's a waste of time, fuel, and brake pads to have to needlessly stop at a light that just turned red for no apparent reason only to immediately turn green again the second you come to a stop. I notice this most on Silk Mills and the Third Way but I drive there more than most other places. I used to live in New York City and regularly drive in the city and the traffic flow and traffic jams in Taunton are far worse. It is 100% down to terrible planning and an overall mentality in the area that resists change like it's the work of the devil. There are lots of people that don't want new, more efficient roads and who are absolutely terrified that adding new roads, a ring road, or making existing roads into dual carriageways (Wellington Road) will be the end of life in the southwest as we know it. Without significant change and making tough decisions that might not always be popular these problems will continue. Somerset County Council needs to be held responsible for this and stop listening to the archaic opinions of the minority who don't want change. JRocker7
  • Score: 23

8:21am Sun 11 May 14

Dr Dave says...

@Blackmasquerade - I think the A38 between Wellington and Taunton will soon be back to 50mph as before after surface skid testing has been carried out - to the detriment of motorists pulling out of the World's End and Bradford on Tone junctions - this area has been made much safer with a 30mph limit, this is one stretch of road that NEEDS a lower speed, but will it get it? Probably not, it won't cause enough congestion!
@Blackmasquerade - I think the A38 between Wellington and Taunton will soon be back to 50mph as before after surface skid testing has been carried out - to the detriment of motorists pulling out of the World's End and Bradford on Tone junctions - this area has been made much safer with a 30mph limit, this is one stretch of road that NEEDS a lower speed, but will it get it? Probably not, it won't cause enough congestion! Dr Dave
  • Score: 3

12:06pm Sun 11 May 14

blackmasquerade says...

Dr Dave wrote:
@Blackmasquerade - I think the A38 between Wellington and Taunton will soon be back to 50mph as before after surface skid testing has been carried out - to the detriment of motorists pulling out of the World's End and Bradford on Tone junctions - this area has been made much safer with a 30mph limit, this is one stretch of road that NEEDS a lower speed, but will it get it? Probably not, it won't cause enough congestion!
Thanks for the update Dr Dave and pleased to hear the 30 limit should soon be lifted. As for the BoT/World'sEnd junction, agree this should remain & though you'll rarely hear me say this, but I'd even go as far as saying this should be signal controlled; after all, there's plenty of unwanted light in Taunton that could be relocated!
[quote][p][bold]Dr Dave[/bold] wrote: @Blackmasquerade - I think the A38 between Wellington and Taunton will soon be back to 50mph as before after surface skid testing has been carried out - to the detriment of motorists pulling out of the World's End and Bradford on Tone junctions - this area has been made much safer with a 30mph limit, this is one stretch of road that NEEDS a lower speed, but will it get it? Probably not, it won't cause enough congestion![/p][/quote]Thanks for the update Dr Dave and pleased to hear the 30 limit should soon be lifted. As for the BoT/World'sEnd junction, agree this should remain & though you'll rarely hear me say this, but I'd even go as far as saying this should be signal controlled; after all, there's plenty of unwanted light in Taunton that could be relocated! blackmasquerade
  • Score: 7

5:25pm Sun 11 May 14

joward says...

StevePeters wrote:
And, of course, the muppets at Somerset Waste Partnership make matters even worse by insisting that waste collection lorries have to be on the road at rush-hour rather than later on in the day.
I queried this with the powers that be and was told that they have contracted it out, they did say that they would have a word as the rule was for them not to operate during rush hour. That was over a year ago and nothing has changed you still meet the disopsal trucks on the school/office run.
[quote][p][bold]StevePeters[/bold] wrote: And, of course, the muppets at Somerset Waste Partnership make matters even worse by insisting that waste collection lorries have to be on the road at rush-hour rather than later on in the day.[/p][/quote]I queried this with the powers that be and was told that they have contracted it out, they did say that they would have a word as the rule was for them not to operate during rush hour. That was over a year ago and nothing has changed you still meet the disopsal trucks on the school/office run. joward
  • Score: 7

5:49pm Sun 11 May 14

joward says...

What we need to know, by way of reassurance, is that there is a responsible person/s somewhere in the county who is fully aware of what is going on in and around Taunton's roads and has given permission for all these works to happen all at once. Someone who has been consulted and taken the decision to allow all the works that are presently going on in the town. Someone who has taken into consideration the upheaval that is being caused to our lives and businesses and has wisely decided that what is happening is OK and that we will all survive this abomination. If there is this someone then I would be glad to know who it is. I heard our MP joke last week that even he was finding it difficult to know who to complain to about the current disruption to our town.
But, if we are paying for a TDBC and an SCC and there is not one person who is fully responsible for the overall care of our county town then I think we need to know why not?
What we need to know, by way of reassurance, is that there is a responsible person/s somewhere in the county who is fully aware of what is going on in and around Taunton's roads and has given permission for all these works to happen all at once. Someone who has been consulted and taken the decision to allow all the works that are presently going on in the town. Someone who has taken into consideration the upheaval that is being caused to our lives and businesses and has wisely decided that what is happening is OK and that we will all survive this abomination. If there is this someone then I would be glad to know who it is. I heard our MP joke last week that even he was finding it difficult to know who to complain to about the current disruption to our town. But, if we are paying for a TDBC and an SCC and there is not one person who is fully responsible for the overall care of our county town then I think we need to know why not? joward
  • Score: 16

6:12pm Sun 11 May 14

chr15flip says...

johnkeep wrote:
Taunton will remain clogged until it gets a proper ring road system to take traffic out of the centre. Millions have been spent over the years on schemes which just get traffic to the next traffic jam a bit quicker. Our local road planners couldn't organise a party in a brewery !

John Keep
or a jolly good time in a house of disrepute!
[quote][p][bold]johnkeep[/bold] wrote: Taunton will remain clogged until it gets a proper ring road system to take traffic out of the centre. Millions have been spent over the years on schemes which just get traffic to the next traffic jam a bit quicker. Our local road planners couldn't organise a party in a brewery ! John Keep[/p][/quote]or a jolly good time in a house of disrepute! chr15flip
  • Score: 8

6:24am Mon 12 May 14

Dr Dave says...

Taunton needs a "Traffic Tsar" who has the power to change/alter things like traffic light sequences etc to make the town easier to drive around, taking into account where motorists are finding mis-timed signals etc etc. Oh wait.....that would be too simple.
Taunton needs a "Traffic Tsar" who has the power to change/alter things like traffic light sequences etc to make the town easier to drive around, taking into account where motorists are finding mis-timed signals etc etc. Oh wait.....that would be too simple. Dr Dave
  • Score: 16

10:32pm Tue 13 May 14

twigimala says...

Ok which bright muppets idea was it to close priory avenue and make all inward traffic go down StAugustine St and all outward traffic use Winchester St -so all outward travellers have to wait whilst the inward traffic goes past - wouldn't it have been easier to do it the other way round?
Ok which bright muppets idea was it to close priory avenue and make all inward traffic go down StAugustine St and all outward traffic use Winchester St -so all outward travellers have to wait whilst the inward traffic goes past - wouldn't it have been easier to do it the other way round? twigimala
  • Score: 9

9:24am Thu 15 May 14

Little_Owly says...

I give up. I will doing my shopping in bridgwater from now on. Taunton is unusable.
I give up. I will doing my shopping in bridgwater from now on. Taunton is unusable. Little_Owly
  • Score: 6

8:59pm Thu 15 May 14

duckface08 says...

I previously suggested NO RIGHT TURN along Silk Mills road but someone thought the idea was ridiculous ( perhaps a member of officialdom ).To make it work we would have to install ARMCO along the centre of the road and provide better roundabouts at each end, traffic wishing to turn right would have to go to the end round the roundabout and come back.This would not take very long as traffic would be moving unlike at present. I counted the lights we could remove, would you believe 48 including side roads.We could leave a couple as pedestrian/cyclists crossings. This is how they do it in USA.
I previously suggested NO RIGHT TURN along Silk Mills road but someone thought the idea was ridiculous ( perhaps a member of officialdom ).To make it work we would have to install ARMCO along the centre of the road and provide better roundabouts at each end, traffic wishing to turn right would have to go to the end round the roundabout and come back.This would not take very long as traffic would be moving unlike at present. I counted the lights we could remove, would you believe 48 including side roads.We could leave a couple as pedestrian/cyclists crossings. This is how they do it in USA. duckface08
  • Score: 8

9:24am Sun 18 May 14

TrafficChaosTaunton says...

joward wrote:
What we need to know, by way of reassurance, is that there is a responsible person/s somewhere in the county who is fully aware of what is going on in and around Taunton's roads and has given permission for all these works to happen all at once. Someone who has been consulted and taken the decision to allow all the works that are presently going on in the town. Someone who has taken into consideration the upheaval that is being caused to our lives and businesses and has wisely decided that what is happening is OK and that we will all survive this abomination. If there is this someone then I would be glad to know who it is. I heard our MP joke last week that even he was finding it difficult to know who to complain to about the current disruption to our town.
But, if we are paying for a TDBC and an SCC and there is not one person who is fully responsible for the overall care of our county town then I think we need to know why not?
re: joward's request - the 'responsible' person would SCC's Portfolio Holder, Cllr Harvey Siggs, but I can't go as far as saying he knows whats going on!
[quote][p][bold]joward[/bold] wrote: What we need to know, by way of reassurance, is that there is a responsible person/s somewhere in the county who is fully aware of what is going on in and around Taunton's roads and has given permission for all these works to happen all at once. Someone who has been consulted and taken the decision to allow all the works that are presently going on in the town. Someone who has taken into consideration the upheaval that is being caused to our lives and businesses and has wisely decided that what is happening is OK and that we will all survive this abomination. If there is this someone then I would be glad to know who it is. I heard our MP joke last week that even he was finding it difficult to know who to complain to about the current disruption to our town. But, if we are paying for a TDBC and an SCC and there is not one person who is fully responsible for the overall care of our county town then I think we need to know why not?[/p][/quote]re: joward's request - the 'responsible' person would SCC's Portfolio Holder, Cllr Harvey Siggs, but I can't go as far as saying he knows whats going on! TrafficChaosTaunton
  • Score: 3

7:59pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Baldbloke says...

Little_Owly wrote:
I give up. I will doing my shopping in bridgwater from now on. Taunton is unusable.
Be prepared to wait 'twixt North Petherton and Bridgwater town centre - it ain't much better up here!
[quote][p][bold]Little_Owly[/bold] wrote: I give up. I will doing my shopping in bridgwater from now on. Taunton is unusable.[/p][/quote]Be prepared to wait 'twixt North Petherton and Bridgwater town centre - it ain't much better up here! Baldbloke
  • Score: 2

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