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Increased traffic 'highlights success' of Third Way bridge
1:00pm Saturday 29th September 2012 in Somerset
THOUSANDS more drivers are using the roads surrounding the Third Way, figures released this week show.
As the bridge celebrates its first anniversary, statistics reveal almost a one-third increase in the number of vehicles using Wood Street.
Almost 63,000 vehicles a week use the road, according to figures from the county council – 15,000 more than were using it this time last year.
And it’s a similar story on Castle Street by Tesco, with 60,000 vehicles per week using the busy road, compared with an average of 55,000 last year.
The opening of the Third Way has provided a north-south route close to the town centre and has opened up new river crossings for both motorists and pedestrians.
And, although there has been congestion due to roadworks as water mains are modernised, the county council says the road has cut travel time.
“My access to the hospital, Somerset College or businesses on the South-West side of town has been reduced by about ten minutes each way. It brings so many benefits to the town.”
The road has also been beneficial to the emergency services.
A spokesman for the South Western Ambulance Service said: “All road improvement schemes, including this one, which reduce congestion and improve road safety are welcomed.
“As crews are mobilised from a number of locations under blue-light conditions it is difficult to quantify the improvement but under normal conditions there has been a clear improvement in many journey times.”
Harvey Siggs, cabinet member for Highways at the county council, said: “The statistics show the Third Way has proven increasingly popular with motorists.
“I imagine it’s also proving popular with cyclists and pedestrians as it provides an alternative way through the town.”