Work begins on latest signals upgrade

A BUSY stretch of the A39 in Wells is the next stage of a £16.6 million signals replacement programme in Somerset.

Somerset Council’s Highways team is installing new traffic signals on both the Wookey Hole Road and Whiting Way junctions. It is a co-ordinated approach, says the council, which will see the council’s contractor working with its maintenance contractor to ensure a substantial amount of resurfacing is also delivered in the area of the junctions.

This is intended to avoid further disruption in the near future. The work is due to complete this autumn.

Temporary traffic signals will be in place throughout and the contractor will be using state-of-the-art technology known as Urban 64 to ensure traffic flows are managed with the aim of minimum delays for road users.

Special measures will be taken during Glastonbury Festival in June to ensure extra traffic flows are managed to avoid disruption for residents, businesses and festival-goers.

There will need to be some works carried out at night towards the end of the project. Residents will receive letters ahead of this with full details and advanced signage will be displayed.

As Wells Voice reported in April, Somerset Council said it needed to communicate better with residents in future following criticism of night-time roadworks during the upgrade of the traffic lights at the junction of Portway and Strawberry Way.

Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Transport and Digital, said: “We’re really grateful for the continued patience of residents, business owners and road users while we deliver these essential works.

“It’s vital we replace these signals as they are at the end of their working life – doing nothing just isn’t an option as we risk worse disruption if the lights fail.

“We know this has an impact locally and we’re working really hard to minimise this. We’ll be liaising with the community throughout as we deliver this vital investment in our roads infrastructure.”