Somerset

Taunton's new £1.5m bridge opens

It is hoped that the Third Way road scheme will help ease congestion in Taunton
Image caption The new bridge across the River Tone was lifted into place in March

A £1.5m river crossing built to help reduce congestion in Taunton town centre has officially opened.

The River Tone bridge is part of the £7.5m Third Way project which aims to divert up to 2,000 cars per hour away from the town centre during peak times.

A £5.5m government grant helped pay for the project along with county council funds and developer contributions.

The bridge, which links Wellington Road to Bridge Street, was opened by Transport Minister Norman Baker.

As part of the Third Way project a second bridge has been built across Mill Stream with paths for pedestrians and cyclists. It is already in use.

New junctions at Staplegrove Road and Station Road have also been created, sewer repairs have been made along the route and Bridge Street has been resurfaced as part of the new traffic plan.

Work for the bridge began in April 2010 and in March the bridge was lifted into place.

It is now hoped that plans to pedestrianise North Street for certain times of the day can be further explored, Taunton Deane Borough Council has said.

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