Town Bridge repairs under way

6 Feb 2024
gideon mike at bridge

Works to restore Taunton’s historic Town Bridge to its former glory are now in full swing thanks to funding from Somerset Council.

Leading Liberal Democrats involved in the project have expressed their delight that the repair and refurbishment of the iconic bridge is now underway.

Somerset Council announced in November that extensive works would be carried out to the grade two listed bridge, which carries the A3027 over the River Tone as it links North Street with Bridge Street.

The works now in progress will take place over a period of nine months to reduce disruption to motorists and pedestrians. It was recently clarified that pedestrian access across the bridge will be maintained throughout.

Cllr Mike Rigby said: ”As the councillor responsible for transport at the old Somerset West and Taunton Council and then at Somerset Council, one of the most frequent complaints I received was about the state of Town Bridge.

“Its ornate parapets had become tatty and dirty and, despite a clean-up in 2022, they still desperately needed a thorough refurbishment and repainting. 

“One of the first tasks I set our team when, as Lib Dems, we took control of Somerset was to sort out the bridge. 

“As well as the cosmetic works, we have uncovered some reasonably major structural issues, and it is those repairs you can see are now under way. 

“Once they have been completed, later this year, the painting work will be done, and the bridge will be returned to its former glory.”

Gideon Amos, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Taunton and Wellington added: “As local Liberal Democrats, we heard time and again from residents disappointed at the state of the Town Bridge. 

“We launched a campaign to give those residents a voice and, as soon as we took control of Somerset County Council, we worked with Cllr Mike Rigby and our Lib Dem councillor team to make sure this work took place.

“You, as local residents, said this needed fixing – we listened and our team is on the job right now.

“Protecting and valuing our heritage is key to restoring Taunton as our proud County Town.”

The bridge was built in 1894 at a cost of £7,000 from a design by J.H. Smith, the Borough Surveyor.

Its globe lamps are said to be part of the earliest electric street lighting installed in a town in Britain.