Riverside work under way

Work has started on sprucing up a stretch of riverside in the heart of Taunton – and if the weather is kind the improvements should be completed in time for Easter.

Taunton Deane Borough Council has commissioned landscape architects Swan Paul and contractors Somerset Landscapes to tackle a stretch of the River between Priory Bridge and the Morrisons supermarket. The pedestrian bridge near the store will be resurfaced and repainted and railings along the river given a fresh coat of paint as well. Paths will be given a deep clean, the bandstand and lighting columns overhauled and benches will be repaired or replaced.

This will build on some of the work carried out voluntarily by Somerset College students in the summer as part of a social action project. Graffiti will be cleaned from Priory Bridge and the pedestrian bridge and special brick-coloured paint, designed to be graffiti-proof, applied.

Undergrowth will be cut back and new "woodland edge" wild flowers and, once weeded, shrubs will be planted including attractive grasses, lavenders and viburnum. Undergrowth near the pontoon will also be cut back to provide better access and visibility. The work is expected to take eight week and once finished the area will be maintained by the Council's open spaces team.

"The work will give this area a much needed sprucing up and make the riverside a more attractive place for residents and visitors. I am looking forward to seeing the project completed in time for the spring," said Councillor Norman Cavill, who holds the economic development portfolio.

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