Somerset County Council

Connect 3


Exploring future transport links into and between Bridgwater, Taunton and Wellington 

The towns of Bridgwater, Taunton and Wellington are all set to grow in the future.  "Connect3" was a study to look at the transport implications of this growth, in particular, links between the towns and into these areas of Somerset from elsewhere.

The study developed proposals for how best to manage additional demand on the transport network.  It concentrated on transport improvements that could be implemented between 2014 and 2019.

The study did not include transport proposals for the town centres.  Please click on the links on the right hand side of the page to explore other studies and consultations that looked at future town centre transport plans.

The priorities for the Connect3 study followed guidance from the Department for Transport.  This aimed to ensure that transport improvements were focussed on:

  • Supporting national economic competitiveness and growth, by delivering reliable and efficient transport networks. 
  • Reducing transport's emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, with the desired outcome of tackling climate change. 
  • Contributing to better safety, security and health and longer life-expectancy by reducing the risk of death, injury or illness arising from transport and by promoting travel modes that are beneficial to health. 
  • Promoting greater equality of opportunity for all citizens, with the desired outcome of achieving a fairer society. 
  • Improving quality of life for transport users and non-transport users, and to promote a healthy natural environment.  

Somerset County Council appointed Halcrow to undertake the Connect3 study on behalf of South West Councils and the Department for Transport.  The study was supported by a grant from the Department for Transport and was one of six studies - called DaSTS (Developing a Sustainable Transport System) - across the region.  Halcrow is one of the UK's leading consultancies delivering planning, design and management services for developing infrastructure and buildings worldwide.

Work undertaken to date
The study began at the end of 2009 and the first phase of work focused on:

  • Confirming appropriate objectives for the study;
  • Understanding the key transport related issues and challenges; and 
  • Drawing together a 'long list' of possible packages of options and interventions that could be considered to tackle these issues and challenges.   

A stakeholder workshop was held in February 2010.  This provided an opportunity for representatives from the County and District Councils, as well as other stakeholders, including Highways England and bus operators, to comment on the study.  The stakeholder group worked together to highlight key challenges and also put forward ideas for ways of tackling these. 

Since February, these challenges and options have been subject to an initial assessment process designed to identify the priority challenges and options.  The Initial Options Assessment Report has now been finalised and is available by clicking on the Phase 1 Study Outputs link on the right hand side.

After the publication of the Initial Options Assessment Report no further funding was made available by the Department for Transport for the Connect3 study.

Have your say
We welcome any comments that you have about transport priorities and issues in the study area. 

Now that the IOAR has been completed, we would welcome comments on the issues identified in this report.  In particular, we would welcome views on:

  • Whether the objectives appropriately capture the key issues and priorities for the Taunton, Bridgwater and Wellington area. 
  • Whether we have identified all the key issues, challenges and opportunities. 
  • Whether our long list of possible options and interventions contains appropriate ideas for improving transport and meeting the study objectives. 
  • Whether you have any further or additional ideas for options/interventions.  


Contact:Transport Policy Team
Address: Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Fax: 01823 356113
Customer Contact opening hours: Monday 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.
Transport Policy opening hours: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

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