Home News Town centre traffic lights may be removed to ease gridlock

Town centre traffic lights may be removed to ease gridlock

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Traffic lights in place as part of work on a multi million regeneration of Weston-super-Mare town centre may be removed – because of the congestion they are causing.

Traffic lights have been in place since Easter on Station Road as part of the scheme to pedestrianise Regent Street.

As well as the traffic lights both Walliscote Road and Regent Street are closed to traffic, with vehicles being directed along Alexandra Parade to get out of town.

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Diversions have been put in place to direct visitors away from the town centre at peak times.

But as tens of thousands head to the resort during the summer season, the lights at Station Road are causing long traffic delays – sometimes tailing back over Hildesheim Bridge.

Council bosses say they are now reviewing the situation and are looking at the possible removal of the traffic lights .

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, Councillor Mike Solomon, said: “The traffic lights at Station Road are causing problems, especially at peak times.

“We are diverting traffic into the town along other routes including Locking Road and Winterstoke Road.

“But with thousands of visitors coming to Weston it is starting to cause issues at certain times.

“I am talking to highways officers in the coming week about the potential removal of these lights at busy times and how we can get traffic flowing around Weston better.”

The diversions are hampered by the fact there are also traffic lights at Beach Road – also used as a diversion route.

However the roadworks and lights are only in place and lifted at the weekend.

Mr Solomon added: “We do remove the lights at the weekends to help traffic flow around the town at busier times.

“The work at Beach Road, I understand, is due to finish soon.”

The town has been swamped with visitors since restrictions lifted.

Tourism bosses have said they have ‘never seen Weston so busy’ and over the Bank Holiday visitors struggled to find accommodation.

“It has been phenomenally busy over the last few weeks, especially with the weather so good,” said Mr Solomon.

“The trains coming into Weston over the Bank Holiday were all full and the roads exceptionally busy.

“It’s great for the hospitality trade to see so many people coming back to Weston.

“But the trade off is the issue that it causes on the local roads.”

The closures are in place to allow Regent Street to become a pedestrian zone with a new bus hub.

When the work is completed, Walliscote Road will be open only to buses, taxis and for deliveries.

The town centre regneration project, costing £6.8 million, will enhance cycle and pedestrian links, bring together scattered bus stops across the town to one hub at Regent Street and see changes to the road layout at Alexandra Parade and Walliscote Road to reduce the volume of traffic in the town centre.

Additional green space will be introduced in Alexandra Parade and more trees will also be planted in the town centre.

New loading arrangements will be introduced in Regent Street for lorries – as part of plans for a new pedestrian zone – with loading times and dedicated loading bays on the outskirts of the pedestrian zone available at all times of the day.

The aim of the improvements is to make using public transport easier, and to make the area more pedestrian friendly, which the council hopes will increase visitors to the town centre.

The project is being funded by a £6.8m grant from the Department for Transport, Local Growth Fund and Historic England for highways, public realm and transport improvements.

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