Planning ahead for rescheduled drainage scheme in Yeovil

A major engineering scheme in Yeovil which was rescheduled from before Christmas at the request of the community is now set to take place in the summer.

Somerset County Council had been looking to take advantage of a gap between other schemes to carry out vital drainage improvement works on the A30 Sherborne Road in November.

Work would have been completed before December when there is a County Council embargo on roadworks to avoid disruption to traders in the run-up to Christmas. However, following discussions with local business groups, it was agreed to put the scheme on hold until other works in the area are completed.

Somerset County Council is now looking to carry out the work in the summer holidays, potentially starting on Monday 25 July.

As drivers will be aware, the stretch of Sherborne Road in question is showing significant signs of deterioration and highways teams have made 49 visits to temporarily repair cracks and potholes over the past 18 months.

In order to tackle the fundamental structural issues it will be necessary to first upgrade the drainage before full resurfacing at a later date (likely to be in winter 2018 with night-time working).

Drainage work involves deep excavations under the highway to install pipes and gullies so is not suitable for night-time work and is likely to require a 24/7 road closure to keep workers and road users safe.

Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We were happy to take on board local concerns and reschedule this important work until after Christmas. Now we’re planning ahead and want to give everyone as much time to prepare as possible.

“Tackling the underlying issues here is the right thing to do. It’s the best way to invest in our roads and should mean less callouts in future to deal with safety defects.

“There’s never a perfect time to carry out work on this scale, but ignoring the problem is not an option. If you have a concern, please come and talk to us as soon as possible so we can factor into our planning.”

Cllr Peter Gubbins, Chairman of South Somerset District Council’s Area South Committee, said: “It is never a good time to make repairs to the road system, especially on a busy through route like the A30. However it is clear that these works are necessary and we are pleased that the proposed delay until the summer holidays will mean less disruption.”

Details are still being finalised and further information will follow as the extent of the scheme becomes clearer. You can keep up to date with the latest on the roads including live incidents and planned roadworks at www.travelsomerset.co.uk or follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter.