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Network Rail Improvement Work Nearing Completion

Work is progressing well on the railway improvements projects being carried out by Network Rail on a section of the Great Western Rail route between Langport and Castle Cary. The work consists of two phases:

  • Work to strengthen the embankment at two locations
  • Maintenance work on the Bridge over Somerton Road

The work is planned to last until the end of March, with some disruption to traffic flow through the town.

Progress so far

The work is going on well and Langport residents appreciate it is important for the maintenance work to go ahead. Although there have been disruptions to traffic through the town, Network Rail staff make every effort to reduce the impact on residents and visitors.

Drivers experienced delays and gridlocked traffic during the early stages of the project which involved bringing cranes and construction material onto the site. Traffic management has improved with the occasional aggregate lorry coming in and leaving the site through the day.

The work involves high noise levels, especially when driving the piles into the ground. However, it is worth noting the work does not go ahead late into the night, which is a relief to the community.

School Outreach

It is worth noting the effort Network Rail have made to keep community relations sweet by visiting the local primary school to talk to kids about the construction site safety. They also brought along some branded plastic water bottles which were handed out to the kids. This was a timely gesture during a time when the Coronavirus outbreak meant the use of the communal water fountains was being discouraged. I will leave a discussion of single-use plastic to another time.

Share your thoughts

How has the railway construction work affected you? Do you have any comments about the work and the disruption this has caused to the town? Please feel free to share any thoughts or comments below. You can find out more about the projects by visiting the Network Rail website.

Your Town Needs You

You can’t help but notice the number of closed shops on Bow Street. As lovely a town Langport is, it is slowly dying. Without the support of its residents, it will soon look like many other small towns across the South West.

What can you do to help? Support your local shops as much as you can. We all want to spend less money on everyday essentials. However, keeping our money in the local economy not only helps the business owners but us too in the long run. Tesco offers some value when it comes to food basics but nothing beats buying free-range chicken from Cracknell’s Farm which is just down the road. Or perhaps a wholesome loaf of bread from the local bakers’?

Totally Locally

However you choose to support the local economy, remember keeping the high street alive means the town can attract more visitors.
The Totally Locally Langport initiative aims to encourage local residents to spend at least a fiver in local independent shops. The maths appears to add up to millions of pounds going into the local economy. Find out more about the Totally Locally idea here.

What more can businesses offer?

However, in my opinion, local businesses also need to offer more value to entice more patronage. Yes, we’d all like to support local business owners who are friends and family, but competing in price alone often doesn’t work. Indeed who can stand up to the economies of scale retailing giants like Tesco command?

Loyalty Card or Langport Currency?

Perhaps a local discount card scheme could help. The more you spend in local independent shops the bigger a discount you earn in future purchases. This creates a win-win situation for the retailer and customer. 
Maybe it’s time we introduced our own local currency in homage to Walter Bagehot. Just a thought. 

What next…

So next time you’re walking or driving through town, take a break and stop for coffee and cake at the Kitchen. Or why not pop into the River Parrett cafe for a full English or Artteazen for a slice of devilishly delicious gluten-free chocolate cake.

P.S I will be spending a bit more time in developing the website. I know there are other local websites promoting local businesses and we all have different ideas. I'd love to hear what website visitors think, what you come here looking for (if you don't find it tell me, perhaps it's something I will consider creating a page about).