Conservatives press for Keynsham Transport Plan

Calls have been made for Bath and North East Somerset Council to produce an over-arching transport plan for Keynsham.

Conservative councillors representing the town are pressing the authority on the need for a transport plan in order to avoid gridlock over coming years as a number of new developments get underway.

Over the next few years work is due to begin on several new housing developments in and around the town, including seven hundred new homes as part of the redevelopment of the former Somerdale Cadbury factory, as well as further five hundred to the south of the town as part of the K2 housing developments. In addition, work is already underway on redeveloping the new town hall site, with the Council also planning to redevelop the neighbouring Riverside office complex.

Conservatives have said it will be essential for the Council to have a transport plan in place to ensure the town can cope with the additional traffic caused by these new developments.

Keynsham councillor Marie Longstaff (Cons, Keynsham East), who also chairs B&NES Council’s Planning, Transport and Environment scrutiny committee, has tabled a question to the Council’s Cabinet asking that work begin on producing a transport plan for Keynsham.

Cllr Longstaff said:

“It’s absolutely essential that the Council has a proper transport plan in place to ensure the town can cope with all new developments coming forward in Keynsham over the next few years.

“B&NES has already agreed to start work on a transport strategy for Bath, but we believe it’s important that the Council produces an overarching transport plan for Keynsham as well. If there isn’t a transport plan in place, there is a risk that all these new developments could cause gridlock in the town.

“Such a transport plan should set out what work will be needed to improve traffic flows in the town, such as better access to the Somerdale and K2 developments, as well as improvements to public transport in and around Keynsham.”

As well as calling for a comprehensive transport plan to be produced for Keynsham, Conservatives have also asked whether the Council will consider running a trial of proposals to either pedestrianisation the town’s High Street or make the road one-way.

Cllr Charles Gerrish (Cons, Keynsham North) commented:

“Whatever traffic proposals the Council ultimately brings forward for the High Street should fit in with an overall transport plan for the town. In the meantime, B&NES ought to consider trialling both a one-way system and full pedestrianisation for a limited period to see whether either could work. The idea of making the High Street more pedestrianised is clearly popular amongst many residents, so it would be wrong for the Council to ignore this. But obviously we need to find out whether any such proposals could work in traffic terms.”