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.”


  • The planning for this project is, to say the least, abysmal. Yeovil town centre is now a bomb site because the workforce is spread so thinly across all the ongoing projects. Why not start and finish one area at a time, before starting the next one. Sorry, is that what I call using common sense, which this council seems to have a lack of.
    I agree that the town centre needs a drastic refurbishment programme but come on, why should the Yeovil residents and business owners have to suffer for so long?

  • I went into Yeovil on Monday (18/9) and could not even get into the front door of Boots – all the customers were forced to trek round to the back. I have never seen such a mess in what is a main shopping area. There is barely enough room for pedestrians to pass up and down the streets and encountering a pram or pushchair necessitates retreating into a shop doorway to let them pass. The councillors responsible ought to be prosecuted for misconduct in public office for wasting public money and sued by the businesses affected by these appalling works. If this carries on much longer, all the businesses will close down. I noted on Monday that the shops were almost empty, hardly surprising. As for Councillor Rigby’s assertion that local businesses are being kept informed, I hardly think that such comments are going to assuage the rage of the owners.

  • I will b

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