Construction work is nearing completion on the private toll road at Kelston designed to bypass the road closure on the A431 and is on target to open during the first week of August.
The private road will be used to divert above the landslip which forced the closure of the busy A431 Kelston Road back in February.
Mike Watts, Director of Kelston Toll Road Limted, said: ‘We have been so impressed with the contractors, R M Penny of Ston Easton, who have delivered a top quality road, on time and in budget and we are very pleased with the end product.
“We are just adding the finishing touches to ensure adequate signage and lighting across the 400m length of the toll road which is 7m wide allowing two way traffic.
“For reasons of safety we decided to go with a more traditional style road rather than the aluminium track originally considered
“We are also very grateful to the many Councillors and officers of BANES Council for their advice and guidance on the many issues surrounding the building of the road and, in particular, Planning, Health & Safety.
“In these two respects we are pleased to confirm that a retrospective planning application is being prepared and we have met with the Health & Safety Executive who are satisfied with all aspects of the construction by R M Penny and the methods of operation once the toll road is open.
“We are also working very closely with Highways to ensure that correct signage is displayed on the approaches to the toll road from both the Bath & Bristol sides and that every precaution is taken not to hinder the remedial work to the A431 which started this week’.
Once the toll road is open it will be in operation 24 hours a day seven days a week with one toll booth sited at the Bath side entrance serving both directions of traffic.
There will be two toll operators at all times and the whole site will be monitored by 24 hour CCTV broadcast live to the internet.
The toll fees each way will be £1 Motorcycle, £2 Car or Van with a maximum weight limit of 3.5 tonnes.
Multiple passes can be purchased in blocks of 12 for the price of 10. Receipts will be issued to all users as toll fees include VAT which can be reclaimed by businesses.
The toll road is opening just in time to ensure the continuing success of the annual Kelston Fete which takes place on Monday 25th August during the Bank Holiday weekend.
A special concession has already been made to people coming to the fete from Bath by allowing them show their fete programme on their return to get free passage over the toll road.
The Old Crown in Kelston will also be offering special promotions to holders of toll road receipts to help try and capture some of the lost business over the past six months.
In a statement on 16th July, Bath and North East Somerset Council said they could not offer any support to the toll road: “The Council is not in a position to support the temporary road option as we have not been provided with any evidence/information to support the application.
“A temporary toll road requires Planning Permission and no application has been received. In view of public concerns the Council’s Planning Enforcement team are currently investigating this matter.
“The Council has no details to confirm the toll road design meets safety standards and no evidence that insurances are in place for any member of the public who use the private toll road.”