Terry Ledlie, Labour’s Yeovil East County Council candidate, welcomes the recent interventions on the roadworks at the bottom of Lyde Road but insists the call for review should have come sooner and the County Councillor for Yeovil East should have listened to the people who he represents and who have been saying for months that these works make no sense, including in September a local hotel owner who slammed the Lyde Road roundabout plans as “smashing a nut with a sledgehammer”.
In the case of Lyde Road action has been prompted because an unnamed council officer has said that “the replacement roundabout linking Sherborne Road and Lyde Road with a traffic light controlled junction will mean it takes longer to travel into Yeovil town centre from the A30”.
For residents of Yeovil whose lives have been blighted by continuous roadworks over the last 15 months, and the promise of more to come, this latest revelation must come like a further kick in the teeth.
Many residents have lost confidence in the County’s management of the road system in and around Yeovil. Debate continues as to the effectiveness of works that have cost time and money but do not seem to have reduced the traffic jams. As Labour Town Councillors and party members talk with the wider public there is concern about perceived inherent dangers with works that have been done at the hospital roundabout, and those ongoing at Thorne Lane, as well as the view that the town is dying as many people choose to shop elsewhere to avoid the traffic.
The most common issue raised by residents is that they don’t feel they have had any input to what is being done, and that the works are not making their lives better.
Traffic calming scheme consultation
There is now a consultation to put a traffic calming scheme in Preston Grove which uses build outs to narrow the road around speed humps. Whilst welcoming the idea of a traffic calming scheme, Labour Town Councillor for Preston Ward Gail Freeman-Bell says “this proposal will have a detrimental impact on residents by significantly reducing on road parking and by making it dangerous for many people to get in and out of their driveways”.
Cllr Freeman-Bell has found, in consulting with residents that many are unhappy that these works have been proposed by County Councillor Jane Lock who does not live in the ward. They feel that there are better options to slow traffic, including putting in a roundabout at the St Andrews Road junction which would also address traffic problems that will arise when Westlands reopens. A petition objecting to the current proposals has so far received support of 92% of more than 50 households spoken to.
Both Terry and Gail believe that the incumbent County Councillors in these wards have become complacent and that if people in Yeovil want things to be done differently then they have to vote differently. Yeovil needs change.
For further information please contact Gail Freeman-Bell, Secretary Yeovil CLP, on 07838 117774