Councillors call Cross Rifles Roundabout Decision “Wrong”

Eastover’s county councillors Leigh Redman and Hilary Bruce are up in arms about plans to scrap a project to remodel the busy Cross Rifles Roundabout describing the decisions as ‘wrong’ . The Cross Rifles roundabout was due to receive part of a £10m grant from the government’s levelling up fund but now the plans have been shelved by cash strapped Somerset Council who say “it would not be responsible in the current climate to continue to pursue this scheme, nor does it make environmental or logistical sense in 2024”.

Cross Rifles Roundabout

Cllr Leigh Redman, (Labour, Bridgwater North & central) says  “This is going to be a congestion point for Bridgwater for many years and the town will “lose out” as a result.” Councillor Redman went on to point out the council had been granted the money to deliver improvements to the Bridgwater northern corridor along the Bristol Road from the Dunball roundabout to the Cross Rifles roundabout and that work on the Dunball scheme has been repeatedly delayed due to high inflation within the construction industry, with the delivery of the new ‘throughabout’ design finally expected to begin in the summer. However, the council have now announced that it would be “taking a new approach”, focussed on pedestrian crossings and other walking and cycling improvements, rather than physically increasing the amount of space available to motorists.

Cllr Redman says “To complete the work, the council would have needed to buy land in the area through a compulsory purchase order  which included part of a supermarket car park and an undertakers.  The council had costed a CPO and made plans to remodel the road, until the proposal was pulled in favour of shifting the money. Everyone knows it’s an issue both safety-wise as well as capacity-wise. One of the main reasons councillors were supportive was this roundabout would get some increased capacity to get the flow through. It needs to be done.”