Published: January 18, 2009
Exclusive: Highbridge town centre braced for three months of roadworks

Businesses in the centre of Highbridge are bracing themselves for disruption when THREE MONTHS of major roadworks begin later this month.

Gas mains along Church Street are due to be replaced during the work, which will begin on January 26th and last until the end of April.

Signs warning motorists to "expect long delays" have already been installed in the town, as pictured, but local councillors are concerned that not enough is being done to prevent the work hurting the trade of local businesses.

Cllr Janet Keen, whose council ward covers the busy road, told "We need to get the message out that Highbridge will still be open for business, which is especially important during the current economic climate."

"We need better signage from the county council to explain that shops and businesses will still be open and accessible."

"I would also like to see an incentive to bring shoppers into the town, such as free car parking in Bank Street, for the duration of the work."

Highbridge councillor Cllr Joe Leach told "The work is necessary, but I would prefer it to be going ahead in several phases, rather than all at once, to minimise any disruption. Some businesses are struggling, so work like this is regrettable."

And Cllr Danny Titcombe, who also represents Highbridge, said he too is concerned about the work: "It does have to be done, but the town should be getting better signage stressing that shops and businesses will not be affected."

Somerset County Council spokeswoman Jan Hookings told "Disruption will be kept to a minimum. We don't expect the work to have too major an impact."


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