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Raise Your Ride – Team set to make thousands safer on Somerset’s roads in 2022

Somerset County Council’s Road Safety Team are gearing up for a busy calendar this year delivering vital information and training to people of all ages.

In 2021 the team delivered courses, presentations, and educational programmes to 20,000 people across Somerset, covering all age groups – this despite face-to-face delivery only being deemed safe in May. Both older road users and Reception year children alike have taken positive road safety habits with them into the New Year.

The team assist in delivering the nationally popular bicycle awareness course Bikeability across the county’s primary schools. Last year over 1,800 year 5 and year 6 students have taken the 2-day course as part of their curriculum and subsequently gained confidence and advice on riding their bikes safely – 2022 will see thousands more gain crucial cycling proficiency.

The good work has continued in schools with over 10,000 children receiving the team’s Stay Safe presentations, which clearly describe how they should use crossings, ensure car drivers can see them in the dark and much, much more.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said: “There is no time like the present to improve your road safety knowledge.

“We are fortunate that our team are outstanding at what they do; they make our roads safer day in day out and teach everyone something. I recommend getting in touch and seeing what they can offer you.”

Avon and Somerset Police have also collaborated with the team on a new motorcycle training programme called Raise your Ride. The events ran last summer all over the South West with great success so there are five more planned for this summer. You can find out more about the content and how to sign up here, but for now here are the 2022 dates for the diary:

  • Taunton, Sunday 22 May
  • Yeovil, Sunday 19 June
  • Weston-super-Mare, Sunday 27 July
  • Bridgwater, Sunday 11 September

When Raise your Ride 2021 is combined with the other motorcycle-based interventions that the team delivered, the net audience of those totalled over 1,400. There is a large community of bikers in Somerset so the expertise of the team should be widely sought after!

The Road Safety Team has also launched a brand-new website, so make sure to check it out at for all the information you need. You can also follow the team on social media – search Somerset Road Safety on Facebook, @SCC_RoadSafety on Twitter and @somersetroadsafety on Instagram. Alternatively, the team can receive any enquiries from businesses or members of the public via email at

Grant scheme to help make homes more energy efficient extended 

A grant available to help Somerset people benefit from energy efficient installations worth up to £10,000 has been extended until June 2022.

Funded by the Government, the Green Homes Grant Scheme allows eligible homeowners to apply for vouchers to install climate-friendly energy saving measures such as insulation, air source heat pumps, or double glazing.

The work can be worth up to £10,000, with nothing for homeowners to pay towards the cost of the works.

Tenants of rented properties can also access grants of up to £5,000, but the landlord will be expected to contribute at least one third towards the costs of the works.

To be eligible for the grants, the residents of the property must have a low income (receive benefits or have a household income below £30,000 a year), and the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property must be rated D, E, F or G. If there is no EPC for your property you can still apply.

If you’re struggling to keep your home warm and you think you might be eligible for some help, you can submit an application at .

If you are struggling to afford your energy bills or you are living in a cold home where the boiler or heating system isn’t working, you can also contact the Somerset Safe & Warm Helpline on 0800 082 2234.


The Green Homes Grant Scheme is just one of many projects and initiatives which will help Somerset towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

One example is Wells Cathedral where work is being undertaken to reduce the carbon footprint of the 850-year-old landmark. It is among the projects being showcased in a series of short films made by Somerset County Council and funded by the SW Energy Hub to highlight how communities are already doing amazing things to cut the carbon in Somerset. You can view the Wells Cathedral video here: Watch | Facebook.

SCC also recently launched a new climate emergency webpage. which includes a wealth of information to help Somerset work towards the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

The new website includes the latest news on tackling the climate emergency, information and tips for individuals and organisations on how they can reduce their carbon footprints, details on the action Somerset’s Local Authorities are taking, and much more. Visit Climate Emergency (

If you are going to Bridgwater Fair….

Every year Sedgemoor District Council hosts a historic outdoor travelling funfair and market near the centre of Bridgwater, Somerset. The funfair on St Matthews Field, TA6 7HD is organised by the Showman’s Guild with Sedgemoor District Council organising the market elements of the event. Bridgwater Fair attracts crowds from far a field and is recognised as the largest fair in the South West with roughly 40,000 visitors each year.

This annual event, which dates back to the Charter of King John, is now almost 800 years old, the last 600 years of which have been spent on St Matthews Field.  The Charter decreed that the four day fair was to start annually on the last Wednesday in September.

  • 2021’s Bridgwater Fair will start on Wednesday 29th September and ends on Saturday 2nd October.

Opening times:

Opening and closing times for the fun fair are usually:

  • 11:00am to 11:00pm Wednesday;
  • 1:00pm to 11:00pm on Thursday;
  • 1:00pm to 11:30pm on Friday and
  • 11:00am to 11:00pm on Saturday.

The West Street market usually opens:

  • 10:00am to 10:00pm Wednesday;
  • 10:00am to 10:00pm on Thursday;
  • 10:00am to 10:00pm on Friday and
  • 10:00am to 10:00pm on Saturday.

Following tradition, the Fair will be officially opened on ‘Fair Wednesday’ at 11:30am by Sedgemoor District Council’s Chairman and the Mayor of Bridgwater.

Road closures and prohibition of on-street parking:

Detailed road closure information is displayed in the notice section of the Bridgwater Mercury at least twice in the run-up to the event, usually late August and mid-September.

Road closures come into place at 9:00am Tuesday 28th September 2021 and are lifted at 10:00am on Sunday 3rd October 2021. West Street, Milton Place, St Matthews Green, Westover Green and St Matthews Field are affected by road closures. Diversion routes will be in place.

Prohibition of parking (and traffic coning) will be in place along many surrounding streets including Northfield, Durleigh Road (to the junction of Woodbury Road), Park Road and Albert Street from 8:00pm on Monday 27th September 2021 until 10:00am on Sunday 3rd October 2021.

Westfield Close and Halswell Close will be residents permit only.  If residents park without a permit then they are  liable to a parking fine.

Car parking:

As in previous years limited parking will be available Thursday to Saturday of fair week, with the Rotary Club of Bridgwater which is located on the Fairfield and costs of £5.00 per vehicle.


Additional public parking is usually available at the YMCA in Friarn Avenue and at Bridgwater Cricket Club on Durleigh Road.

Please note there are additional car parks within the town centre but these are not operated by Sedgemoor District Council.

West Street and Fairfield Markets:

The markets we know today, with their stalls set-up through West Street, as well as the one-day horse and goods market held at the top of St Matthews Field, are very different to the original fairs of 800 years ago. The West Street market runs from Wednesday morning to Saturday evening. The Fairfield market runs all day on ‘Fair Wednesday’ (the last Wednesday in September).

Traders from across the UK attend the West Street and Fairfield markets with products ranging from clothing and shoes, rugs and cushions, bulbs and plants, china and pottery, as well as culinary delights such as the famed welsh cakes, brandy snaps, preserves and jams and much more.

Please see a map highlighting the locations of the West Street and Fairfield Markets and the parking days for the Fairfield Market.


Temporary cabin toilets, provided by Sedgemoor District Council, are available behind the One Stop shop next to West Bow House, behind Westfield House on West Street and behind the Horse and Jockey Public House on Fairfield. Temporary cabin toilets, including disabled accessible toilets, are also provided behind the Horse and Jockey Public House on Fairfield.

First Aid:

First Aid during the event is provided by St Johns Ambulance. This service is situated in Westfield Church car park, West Street, from Wednesday to Saturday of fair week. First Aid provision is funded by Sedgemoor District Council.

Alcohol at the Fair:

Visitors to the Fair should be aware that West Street, St Matthews Field and most of the surrounding area are covered by the Council’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).  This is an Order designed to tackle nuisance arising from people acting antisocially through drinking excessively in public places. The Order gives the Police and PCSO’s the power to confiscate alcohol within the PSPO area. These powers will be vigorously enforced and anybody bringing alcohol into West Street or St Matthews Field especially can expect to be challenged and may be required to surrender their alcohol. Only alcohol in plastic cups purchased from the hatch at the Horse and Jockey and consumed within the vicinity will be permitted.





Free emergency preparedness training for Somerset residents

Free emergency preparedness training for Somerset residents

The fourth annual Resilience event starts with live talks on Monday 4 October and aims to help communities become better prepared for emergencies as well as looking at wider preparedness measures that anyone can take.

Anyone who registers will receive an information pack, event pack and weekly emails signposting to videos and toolkits on a variety of subjects. Interactive training sessions with national training provider Communities Prepared are on offer, alongside live online presentations from emergency and community organisations, as well as national flood resilience expert Mary Dhonau.

Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, said: “Interactive events like this are an excellent way to raise awareness with local communities and individuals and help them to take vital steps in preparing for an incident, which could ultimately save lives.

“The sessions will cover a range of subjects from how to use social media in emergencies to food resilience and crime prevention.

“It’s a great opportunity for groups to hear from each other, share their experiences and ask the experts. The training workshops are focussed on topics we often see raised by communities, including recruiting volunteers, how to assess risk and insurance.”

As well as the online training, face-to-face events include an open evening for Langport and Huish Episcopi Flood Group, and Avon & Somerset Police beat surgeries around the county. Sessions will be led by a range of organisations including the Environment Agency, South West Ambulance Service Trust, Communities Prepared, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Avon & Somerset Police, Somerset Rotary, Somerset Civil Contingencies Unit, Spark, and Community Council for Somerset.

Participants are encouraged to share their experiences throughout October by tweeting Somerset Prepared (@SomersetPrepare) and using the hashtag #ImSomersetPrepared

To attend this free event, people can register their interest and book training sessions on the Somerset Prepared website