TAUNTON’S multi-million-pound M5 Junction 25 upgrade has reached another important landmark with the opening of the permanent road layout.
Last week week saw the reopening of the newly refurbished eastbound A358 section heading towards Henlade, which has been closed since January. It’s an important step forward for the £19.2m project as it moves towards completion in the next few months.
Earlier this year the project took another huge step forward with the opening of the new A358 Nexus Link road and this week the next important component in the permanent road layout came into play.
The newly revamped, two-lane eastbound section of the A358, incorporating the improved Ruishton Lane junction and signals was reopened and now carries all eastbound traffic heading away from Taunton, the M5, and the newly widened Junction 25 roundabout, while westbound traffic heading towards Taunton and the M5 uses the new Nexus link road.
This layout is designed to reduce congestion both heading towards Taunton and away from the town on the A358, by separating eastbound and westbound traffic at the improved J25 gyratory. It will also help to reduce congestion on the J25 slip road and provide a dedicated bus lane from the Park and Ride.
Overall, the Junction 25 project, which is on time and on budget, includes an enlargement of the roundabout, full signalisation and a widened eastern exit, a new roundabout to access the Nexus 25 business site and safer pedestrian and cycling facilities.
The scheme is part of a major infrastructure plan to support growth in employment and housing development in Taunton.
“It’s very satisfying to see this next important part of the layout up and running, as we move closer to completion. Road users should now start to see some of the real benefits of the project,” said Alyn Jones, Operational Director for Economic and Community Infrastructure at Somerset County Council.