THE £19.2million project to upgrade Taunton’s M5 Junction 25 hits another landmark next week with the opening of the permanent road layout.

It will see the reopening of the newly refurbished eastbound A358 section heading towards Henlade, which has been closed since January.

The project scheme, which will be completed in the next few months, aims to ease congestion and improve access to Taunton and the motorway, as well as providing safer cycling and walking routes into the town.

It is part of a major infrastructure plan to support growth in employment and housing development in the town.

Earlier this year the project took another huge step forward with the opening of the new A358 Nexus Link road was opened earlier in the year.

The next component will see the newly revamped, two-lane eastbound section of the A358, incorporating the improved Ruishton Lane junction and signals, carry all eastbound traffic heading away from Taunton, the M5, and the newly widened J25 roundabout, while westbound traffic heading towards Taunton and the M5 will continue to use the new Nexus link road.

The layout is set to reduce congestion heading towards Taunton and away from the town on the A358, by separating eastbound and westbound traffic at the improved J25 gyratory.

It will also help reduce congestion on the J25 slip road and provide a dedicated bus lane from the park and ride.

Alyn Jones, Somerset County Council's operational director for economic and community infrastructure, said: "Junction 25 remains on schedule to be delivered on time and within budget and it’s great that we’re approaching another key milestone as we move towards completion.

"A massive thanks to our contractor Alun Griffiths and our highways team for their hard work."

In the run-up to the opening, key works will be taking place throughout the week, which are being undertaken to coincide with Highways England night-time works on the M5 between J24 and J26 northbound, featuring an overnight closure from Wednesday April 7 to Friday, April 9.

The work will also take place at night (8pm-6am):

  • From Wednesday-Friday, April 7 to 9, Toneway will be closed during these hours.
  • Wednesday, April 7, J25 northbound slip road will be closed.
  • From April 7-9, J25 roundabout reduced to one lane.

The eastbound A358 and Ruishton junction are set to reopen during the week commencing Monday, April 12.