Claire Sully reveals plans for Road Safety and Transport Infrastructure Forum in Bridgwater constituency to deliver network projects

Claire Sully, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, has launched her plan to establish a Road Safety and Transport Infrastructure Forum (RSTIF) in the new Bridgwater constituency in order to meet the transport needs of residents across Bridgwater, Burnham, Highbridge, North Petherton and surrounding villages.

Bridgwater and its surrounding towns and villages will, in the coming years, see unprecedented investment arriving in the region through infrastructure projects such as Gravity Smart Campus, Hinkley Point C and the Bridgwater Town Deal.

The proposal, supported by Travel Watch South West Chair David Northey will bring together key stakeholders across rail, road, bus and active travel networks as well as local business and industry investors. Importantly, the forum will also include local communities, ensuring local people have their voices heard when it comes to upgrading the constituency’s transport infrastructure.

Gravity, which through battery Gigafactory company Agratas will bring £4 billion to the economy, has earmarked £150 million for improved infrastructure projects in the region, including for the transport network.

The Bridgwater region has significant potential for an improved transport network, including with its rail services.   Claire believes industry and communities need to drive the change we need for our clogged-up roads and wants to bring these voices together.

A 2022 report by Network Rail identified Bridgwater as one of two towns between Bristol and Bridgwater as suffering from suppressed demand due to its inadequate transport links. Just two decades ago, it was possible to reach Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle from Bridgwater, with journeys to Bristol taking just 30 minutes.

In 2022/23 Bridgwater Rail Station had an increase in passengers to nearly 500,000 on the year before, accentuating the need for upgrades.

Active Travel can play a prominent role in linking communities, encouraging sustainable travel for shorter journeys, but it is currently disjointed, while the bus network needs to be fit for purpose.

Claire said that in order for the constituency to realise its potential, it will require forward thinking and a combination of ideas from across the transport industry and business, and that she will bring the political vision and will to make it happen.

“It is clear from my conversations with residents, local businesses and leaders of the transport industry that the transport network across Bridgwater, Burnham, Highbridge and our surrounding villages needs to be upgraded in order to meet the demands of growing investment,” Claire said.

“Whether it’s Active Travel, rail, the bus network or our roads, we need a coordinated approach to ensure we not only deliver accessible routes for business, but also meet the needs of our residents to avoid the fear of thundering lorries and increased traffic. The Road Safety and Transport Infrastructure Forum will ensure this happens.

“This requires a vision, political will and engagement with local residents. I have a track record of bringing together stakeholders to improve communities, and I will do all I can to help Bridgwater, Burnham, Highbridge and our surrounding villages to reach their potential.”

David Northey added: “To enable Bridgwater and surrounding communities to thrive, you need a transport system that works for everyone as well as giving people options. On rail, the town’s station and its ability to play an active role in travel needs has been over-looked to the detriment of Bridgwater.

“The town can be the gateway to the Somerset Levels, Glastonbury, Wells and the Quantock Hills as well as provide easy access to the home of Bridgwater and Taunton College. Improvements to the offering of train services, bus connectivity and redevelopment of the empty rooms could bring about a major transformation for the town. We just need to bring the opportunity alive and I look forward to working with Claire help Bridgwater realise its transport potential.”


  1. Jacqui Strong on June 20, 2024 at 7:56 am

    Please don’t forget Highbridge in favour of Bridgwater – both need investment and need the same level of input. All too often Bridgwater gets more.

  2. Gail Wills on June 21, 2024 at 5:47 pm

    I drive my car because I cannot rely on the buses. They continually remove a bus because of staff shortage or sickness…
    I would save money, get extra walking steps in if I coul rely on a bus turning up on time.

Leave a Comment