Over the next few years, work is due to begin on new housing developments in and around the town, including 700 new homes as part of the redevelopment of the former Cadbury’s factory at Somerdale, and a further 500 to the south of the town as part of ‘K2’.
Meanwhile in the centre of town, work is well under way on the new civic centre site, with Bath & North East Somerset Council also planning to redevelop the neighbouring Riverside office complex.
Conservative councillors say it will be essential for the council to have a transport plan in place to ensure the town can cope with the additional traffic that will be generated.
Keynsham councillor Marie Longstaff (Con, Keynsham East), who also chairs B&NES Council’s planning, transport and environment scrutiny committee, has tabled a question to the council’s Cabinet meeting taking place on Wednesday (September 11), asking that work begin on producing a transport plan for Keynsham.
She said: “It’s absolutely essential that the council has a proper transport plan in place to ensure the town can cope with all new developments coming forward in Keynsham over the next few years.
“B&NES has already agreed to start work on a transport strategy for Bath but we believe it’s important that the council produces an overarching transport plan for Keynsham as well. If there isn’t a transport plan in place, there is a risk that all these new developments could cause gridlock in the town.
“Such a transport plan should set out what work will be needed to improve traffic flows in the town, such as better access to the Somerdale and K2 developments, as well as improvements to public transport in and around Keynsham.”
As well as calling for a comprehensive transport plan to be produced, Conservatives have also tabled a question to Cllr Caroline Roberts (Lib Dem, Newbridge), the Cabinet Member for Transport, asking about traffic proposals for Keynsham High Street and whether the council will consider running a trial of proposals to either pedestrianise it or make the road one-way.
Cllr Charles Gerrish (Con, Keynsham North) said: “Whatever traffic proposals the council ultimately brings forward for the High Street should fit in with an overall transport plan for the town. In the meantime, B&NES ought to consider trialling both a one-way system and full pedestrianisation for a limited period to see whether either could work.
“The idea of making the High Street more pedestrianised is clearly popular amongst many residents, so it would be wrong for the council to ignore this. But obviously we need to find out whether any such proposals could work in traffic terms.”
In a recent survey carried out by The Week In, three quarters of respondents said they would like to see it pedestrianised.
Our picture shows Keynsham Conservative councillors, from left, Charles Gerrish. Alan Hale and Brian Simmons in Keynsham High Street