Remedial works

Somerset Highways have confirmed that they will be undertaking remedial work to prevent pooling of water at the southern side of the junction (we have been told that the issue arose because of some utilities being closer to the surface than expected, preventing installation of the planned measures). They also intend to slightly re-profile the slope to the raised table, and street lighting will be replaced (like for like, not an upgrade). No date has yet been set for these works, but the town council has been told that they are likely to take place at the same time, and that the road will need to be closed for up to a week.

Minor works will also be needed to clarify that the single designated disabled bay in the High Street is the one outside the ‘new’ pharmacy. No dates have been given.

The town council has highlighted its and residents’ concerns about dangerous parking in Station Road beside the river. We have asked Highways to install yellow lines, but to preserve parking space where safe to do so. Highways intend to assess the site, but it is unlikely that this work will be done until the new financial year (April 2024 at the earliest).

Signage

Somerset Highways have now agreed that the town council can reinstate the old ‘Wincanton’ sign on the Library wall. The council will ask its contractors to do this work early in the New Year (having first obtained permission from the Library’s trustees).

The two large posts close to the entrance to Vineys Yard are for an advanced directional sign for the junction (including a No Entry warning for the High Street), as shown on the previously published plans for the works. The town council has not been given a date for its installation, nor have we been told when the temporary ‘New Road Layout Ahead’ signs will come down.

Rogue parking on south side of junction

Highways have given their consent for the town council to install a planter or something similar on the south side of the junction.

Cast iron kerbing

The town council discussed the various suggestions made by residents about future use of the kerbing at its October meeting, and resolved that the kerbing should be re-used for its original purpose as kerbing somewhere in the town rather than in other ways. No decisions have yet been made about where or when this will be.

Other Highways matters

The council discussed a number of other matters at its November 2023 meeting. For details about these issues please see the draft minutes (item 23/139):

Parking bays outside Sexeys Hospital

Parking in Lower Backway close to the junction with Mill Lane

Parking in Station Road alongside the river

Disabled bay outside former Church Bridge Stores

Freedom of information: Highways plans

On 9 October 2023 the town council wrote to Somerset Council requesting disclosure of:

  1. All heritage/conservation advice received in relation to [the Library Junction works].
  2. If the heritage/conservation advice has not been followed in full, the reasons for not following it.
  3. Copies of the planning drawings for site clearance, drainage and tunnels, pavement kerbing and footways, sections, traffic signs and road markings, setting out, and street lighting.

Somerset Council responded on  6 November 2023. You can read a copy of their response letter here. In essence the planning diagrams have been received by the town council, but not the heritage advice. To quote from the email which included the response ‘Please note we are still awaiting some information from the service area and will forward this to you as soon as we can.’ At time of writing, and despite reminders, this additional information has not been received. The town council does not intend to let this matter drop.

You can view the various plans received here:

Site clearance

Drainage and tunnels

Pavement, kerbing and footways

Typical sections

Traffic signs and road markings

Street lighting

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