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Long months of frustration could soon be coming to the end for commuters, shoppers and business owners who have been left angry with horrendous traffic jams throughout Taunton, Somerset as Wessex Water has announced that it is working extra hours on its scheme to renew old water mains around the town. The company thinks that the work should finish ahead of schedule.
Many local business owners have spoke out about the effect of the work. A local café owner said the town has been becoming increasingly quiet, adding that if the next six weeks continue like the end of June, the business will not survive. She added that the café was forced to place an advert in the local paper in a bid to increase customers. Another store owner had a customer planning to come over from Australia who did not make it into town because of the traffic. Another shop owner reported a drop in trade, saying that people are discouraged from coming into town, with many other business owners reinforcing his point.
A spokesperson for Wessex Water said that contractors are working later hours and at weekends in order to finish the current work by mid-July. Project manager Phil Luxton said:
“We recognise that our essential water supply work as well as roadworks that are being carried out by other organisations is causing inconvenience across Taunton. We wish to apologise to those affected.”
Throughout the scheme, Wessex Water have liased with several businesses, holding a drop in session before the work began where local traders could raise any concerns that they had about the impact of the work. The company said that it encourages residents to support local businesses as the company continues to carry out work as quickly as possible and the company is hopeful that the renewal of mains to improve the water quality will be completed sooner than expected.