Essential work to reduce risk of flooding

The second phase of essential work to reduce the risk of flooding near North Curry is due to begin next month.

The Somerset County Council-funded scheme was planned in two phases, with work to increase the size and number of gullies along Stoke Road completed several months ago.

The second phase will see the replacement of a 100m brick-built culvert under Stoke Road. A CCTV survey shows this is in poor condition and temporary repairs were made last winter following a partial collapse.

Stoke Road collapsed culvert

CCTV footage showing the damaged culvert underneath Stoke Road near North Curry

Work will begin on 2 November and should take around four weeks. A road closure will be required from 9am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday, so the culvert can be accessed and the work can be carried out safely. At other times, including weekends, the road will be reopened with traffic lights in place to keep disruption to a minimum.

This scheme was initially planned for October but has been put back by four weeks at the request of local farmers.

Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We’ve invested a lot of money in flood alleviation schemes and this is another very important one.

“You can see from the CCTV footage how badly damaged the culvert is. If we see any significant rain then there is a very real danger that the road could flood again which would cause widespread disruption.

“It’s imperative these improvements are carried out before the winter, but I’m pleased we have been able to show some flexibility to help local farmers.”

A signed diversion will be in place while the road is closed. Local businesses in Stoke St Gregory and the Willow and Wetlands Visitor Centre will remain open during the closure and additional signs will be used to notify drivers.