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Success for Westonzoyland Road!

Posted on 1st June, 2023 in News

Success for Westonzoyland Road!

Back in February this year we launched our campaign to get the speed limit on Westonzoyland Road reduced from 60 mph down to 40. We are thrilled to announce that it has been a resounding success! With over 1,000 signatures, Cllr Mike Rigby has confirmed that the change will almost certainly go ahead.

This represents a huge step forward for active travel in the Bridgwater area. Many people would love to cycle between Westonzoyland and Bridgwater, but they choose not to at the moment because it’s just too dangerous. With this move, the council is clearly signalling that they take safety seriously, and they want more people to use their bikes instead of driving.

But this isn’t just about bikes. As many people who travel that way regularly will tell you, it’s been an accident blackspot for many years. In fact, around 90% of all accidents on this stretch involve motor vehicles only. So it just makes sense for everyone that the road becomes that bit safer.

Our petition clearly set out the reasons for change and gathered over 1,000 signatures from concerned residents and road users in the local area. We worked closely with Jonathan Cridge of WZACC and Cllr Liz Parfitt of Westonzoyland Parish Council to analyse the road – how it is now and what measures could be put in place – and together with them, we handed the petition to Cllr Rigby at the Active Travel Day on 20th May. Cllr Rigby is Somerset Council‘s Lead Member for Transport, so he has overall responsibility for the county’s roads and transport infrastructure.

After accepting the petition, Cllr Rigby confirmed that the reduction in the speed limit would very likely go ahead, following the formal process. There is a statutory consultation period, when interested parties can have their say on the proposals, but provided there are no major objections, the works will be carried out within the current financial year. Hooray!

Cllr Rigby went on to talk a bit about his own stance on transport and the climate crisis. His passion and drive were evident and he left us in no doubt that he is absolutely committed to tackling climate change and supporting sustainable means of transport like walking, wheeling and cycling, and public transport.

Almost half of Somerset’s CO2 emissions come from transport, so cutting this figure will go a long way towards achieving net zero by 2030. We will keep on working to get as many people on their bikes as possible!

It gets even better…

Not only can we expect the speed limit reduction to take place, but Cllr Rigby has kindly offered to meet WZACC and BACC members on site and cycle the A372 together.

This presents a brilliant opportunity for him to witness first-hand how risky the road is right now, and for us to discuss with him other potential safety measures, as well as the possibility of creating a dedicated active travel route into Bridgwater, away from the A372 altogether.

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