Council gives hope for Keynsham Transport Plan

Calls for an overarching Transport Plan to be developed for Keynsham have received a boost after Bath and North East Somerset Council agreed to look into the idea.

At a recent meeting of the authority’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet, Conservative councillors pressed the Council on the need for a transport plan in order to ensure the town does not grind to a halt as a number of new developments get underway.

In response to a question from Keynsham councillor Marie Longstaff (Cons, Keynsham East), the authority’s Cabinet Member for Transport agreed that a Transport Plan was needed and committed the Council to looking into how such a plan could be brought forward and the costs involved.

Over the next few years work is due to start on a number of developments in and around the town, including new housing developments to the south of the town and the regeneration of the former Somerdale Cadbury factory. In addition, work is already underway on redeveloping the old Town Hall site, with plans also being developed to rebuild the neighbouring Riverside office complex in the town centre.

Conservative councillors have welcomed the fact the Council has agreed to take the idea of creating a Keynsham Transport Plan further.

Cllr Marie Longstaff (Cons, Keynsham East) said:

“It will be extremely important in the years ahead for there to be a properly developed long-term transport plan for Keynsham as a number of new developments get underway in and around the town.

“We’re therefore very pleased that the Council has agreed to look into the possibility of creating an overarching transport plan for the town. Such a transport plan will need to do detailed traffic modelling to assess what the impact will be of new developments, both in the town centre and on the edge of the town, and what new infrastructure will be required as a result. It should also look at what public transport improvements could be achieved and at the how to make the town centre more pedestrian-friendly.”

At the same meeting of the B&NES Cabinet, fellow Keynsham councillor Charles Gerrish (Cons, Keynsham North), asked whether the Council had considered running trials of making the High Street either one-way or fully pedestrianized.

Cllr Gerrish added:

“B&NES has said it will look into the idea of a trial one-way system on the High Street and didn’t rule out the possibility of full pedestrianisation, but said it still needs to complete traffic modelling work for the town centre. Residents have been waiting a long time for the Council to publish its proposals for the High Street, which were originally due alongside the town hall planning application. The current absence of a High Street traffic plan has to call into question the validity of the consultant’s traffic modelling in respect of access to the Somerdale site.”