Millions of pounds worth of improvements to Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge’s roads, paths and M5 motorway junction are being planned as part of Sedgemoor District Council’s long-term transport strategy.
The new Sedgemoor 2050 Sedgemoor Transport Investment Strategy features potential schemes for the district right up until the year 2050, including several major proposals for Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge and Berrow. Sedgemoor’s Full Council has approved the strategy at its latest meeting.
“Proposals for Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge and the communities north of Burnham-On-Sea, include a North Burnham Access Road,” outlines the report.
“To unlock land to the north of Burnham-On-Sea for new housing, a new access road will be needed running from the current Love Lane / Stoddens Lane corner towards Brean, connecting with Brent Street, also diverting through traffic travelling to the resorts of Brean and Berrow from the town centre.”
“The plans also include the completion of the Burnham-On-Sea to Berrow Walking and Cycling Link. A missing cycle and footway link along the side of Burnham and Berrow Golf Club to encourage walking and cycling journeys and connect to routes to the north which extend as far as Weston-Super-Mare.”
The report adds: “Transport investment within Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge focuses on enabling growth to the north and mitigating the transport impact of that growth, as well as connecting this part of the district to Gravity – which is the planned 635-acre enterprise zone at the site of the former Royal Ordnance Factory between Puriton and Woolavington – to benefit from development and job opportunities there.”
“These include proposed rail station improvements at Highbridge & Burnham Station and other rail schemes to provide new links, additional services, and improve quality; bus service frequency and journey time improvements on north-south services through the district; and a new walking and cycling link to Gravity.”
Burnham-On-Sea’s M5 motorway roundabout and junction has also been identified for improvements.
The report says: “Highways England has identified the need to signalise the M5 approaches from the A38 and deliver a dedicated left-turn lane for traffic leaving the M5 and turning south onto the A38. There is also potential to introduce a ‘dumbbell’ roundabout over the M5, introducing a roundabout similar to that at Junction 23, to increase the weaving length of the road feeding the existing A38 roundabout.”
Sedgemoor spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Infrastructure investment has extremely long lead-in times with major schemes taking ten years or more to be planned, funded and then delivered.”
“The Strategy is a long term document and these options within it are only part of a long-list of possible proposals from 2032 onwards. There are currently no plans nor funding in place to support any of these schemes, but the strategy is intended to attract funding. Much will also depend upon future growth options for the district and the proportion of new homes and employment that might be located across Sedgemoor post 2032.”
“Whilst Sedgemoor is not the authority who plans new roads, rail and public transport links, (this is the remit of Somerset County Council) Sedgemoor is being proactive in looking so far ahead by identifying transport needs that could support any future employment and housing development in the district which will allow people to get to work and businesses to thrive.”
“This is essential to secure inward investment and growth in the longer term. Now that the Strategy has been adopted by Sedgemoor District Council, it will be sent to Somerset County Council with a recommendation that they adopt it as their strategy for the Sedgemoor area of Somerset.”