More misery for Yeovil residents
You would be forgiven for thinking that the centre of Yeovil today is the middle of a war zone. Extensive works on Yeovil Refresh grind on at a pace that could best be described as glacial. At least Westminster Street is now finished and the final look is a distinct improvement on what went before. But the Triangle (pictured), High Street and Middle Street still have extensive works going on and there’s further work on Princess Street too.
Now Somerset Council have announced that work will also start in the Wyndham Street area from Monday (25 September). This too is part of the Yeovil Refresh scheme. A scheme which, in the finest South Somerset District Council tradition, will be delivered years late and millions (about £7m) over budget.
Key elements of the Wyndham Street work include:
- updating the pedestrian crossing points at the junction of all of the streets, known locally as Reckleford Triangle
- introducing wider pavements to improve pedestrian navigation
- creating new on-street parking bays in Newton Road
- introducing raised beds for planting in Newton Road
Cllr Mike Rigby was the one who received the hospital pass when SSDC ceased to exist. As Somerset Council Lead Member for Transport and Digital it is now his problem: “The Yeovil Refresh is an ambitious programme of works to improve and enhance Yeovil Town Centre for all. The programme has not been without its challenges, however we are committed to delivering the planned development, public realm and transport system enhancements and we remain on track to do so.”
The problem is that the town centre has been a mess for 3 years, footfall has fallen. On the back of that First Group have cut bus services in and around Yeovil. It is not clear if they will be improved as and when footfall returns. Meanwhile businesses in the town centre have had a torrid time with fewer customers coming through the door.
A spokesperson at South West Highways Ltd, Yeovil Refresh Principal Contractor advised: “We are visiting the businesses within the works area and will be keeping regular contact with them during the works. We are committed to ensuring that these businesses remain accessible throughout the works and that disruption to residents, visitors and businesses alike is minimised.”
Cllr Rigby also reassures. He notes: “Meetings with Yeovil Town Council and Yeovil Chamber are reconvening to ensure that stakeholders are kept informed and up to date with the project.”