Varied hours to free roads

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 October 2010

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BUSINESSES moving to the outskirts of Weston could be called upon to vary their workers' start and finish times to avoid congestion on nearby roads.

Highways officers say they have run out of ideas for ways to free up the overcrowded roads if a new development is built on the edge of the town.

Unable to find more than two access points for the business park in West Wick, they say businesses would be depended on to help resolve traffic problems - potentially spelling the end of the traditional 9am-5pm working day.

The comments come in a report to councillors on the West Area Committee, which is set to make a decision on the development tonight (Thursday).

Developer Idris Davies wants to build five large office blocks, a warehouse, a pub and 80-bed hotel on two sites, one to the north of the A370, and one just off the nearby West Wick roundabout.

The proposal is linked to a separate bid for 89 new homes by Persimmon Homes next to Somerset Avenue, and could create 500 new jobs.

Councillors deferred a decision on the application last month, calling for more access routes following concern over resulting congestion.

But in a report back to the committee, officers, who are recommending approval, said new entrances could not be made from Diamond Batch or Bristol Road over fears it would create rat-runs.

Instead, the report said: “Although there will be queuing at Somerset Avenue the commercial occupiers of the site will be aware of this and can choose to vary their delivery or travel time to allow this.

“It is concluded that the proposed access is the only feasible option at this site.”

Despite the lack of access routes, the developer says the park could go some way to ending a trend of people in Weston commuting out of the town for work.

By proposing a hotel and restaurant, it hopes to make the park more attractive for businesses.

In the report to committee members, officers concluded: “The site would be a valuable addition to the employment offer at Weston.

“It has the potential to provide more jobs that are required to balance the numbers of houses proposed under the associated application on Weston Gateway, which has a wider benefit to the town.”

Keep an eye on www.westonmercury.co.uk for a report on councillors’ decision.

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