Somerset’s transport infrastructure came under the spotlight at Somerset Chamber of Commerce’s first business breakfast of 2020, which was sponsored by one of the Chamber’s newest members, Qatar Airways.
Nick Aldworth Regional Delivery Director for Highways England (South West) was joined by Somerset County Council cabinet members Cllr David Hall, who holds the economic development, planning and community infrastructure portfolio and Cllr John Woodman, who has responsibility for highways and transport.
The trio of guest speakers covered developments in the region, including the latest on proposed upgrades of the A358 and A303, ongoing works around Taunton’s M5 junction and highways schemes in Bridgwater.
The event, which took place at Taunton Racecourse, was attended by businesses ranging from accountants and transport companies, to financial experts and manufacturers. Many had questions about specific road schemes where their businesses were based, including the A39, parts of the M5, the A358 and A303.
Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber, said it was important businesses had a link to Somerset County Council’s highways team and advised members with any transport or highways concerns to contact the Chamber.
“Get in touch and we can amplify your concerns. If you let us know what you’re thinking we can start a conversation with the highways teams and feed that information back to them,” he said, before thanking the speakers and sponsor for their support.
Qatar Airways operates out of Cardiff Airport and Jayne Miller, Leisure and Corporate Sales for Qatar Airways, said she was keen to forge closer links with Somerset Chamber members as Cardiff was much closer to the county than Heathrow.
“A lot of local businesses don’t know we’re there and there are big opportunities for long-haul travel from Cardiff,” she said.
A large number of highways issues can be reported to Somerset County Council’s highways team online via the website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/, or Tweeted to @TravelSomerset.
The Chamber team can be contacted on 01823 444924 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.