Essential drainage work on B3223 from Exford to Simonsbath

**UPDATE: 22 October**

Following discussions with the community, it has been decided to temporarily lift the road closure from 5pm on Friday 25 October until 7am on Thursday 31 October. This means the road will be open over the weekend and will also allow vehicles and HGVs to access the Cutcombe Market site early next week.

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A major scheme to repair the drains between Exford and Simonsbath is planned to take place next week.

The drains on the B3223 at Exford have deteriorated a lot recently and are now in need of repair.

The scheme is being carried out in autumn; a quieter time of year to reduce the impact on holiday traffic and minimise disruption.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council Cabinet member for Highways, said: “The drainage work between Exford and Simonsbath will be massively beneficial in the long-term. We want to complete it before winter as it is a gritting route and is prone to flooding.

“Even though works have been planned to take place at a quieter time of year, we appreciate that it’s a key route in this rural area. We’ll do what we can to minimise disruption but please plan ahead.”

The scheme is primarily linear drain replacement, but it will include new pits for gullies, cross drain repair and improvements to more than 290 metres of road.

Following consideration of all options at the design stage, it was decided that a road closure is the only option to keep the travelling public and workforce safe. Due to deep excavations in the road it will be a 24/7 road closure expected to take four weeks from Monday 21 October to Friday 15 November.

The livestock market at Wheddon Cross will operate as usual during the closure. A suggested diversion route will be clearly signposted on site and can be found at www.travelsomerset.co.uk/roadworks. Stay up to date with this and other roadworks schemes by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter.

Somerset County Council looks after more than 4,170 miles of road and in 2018/19 invested £24.7m to keep the county moving, including filling 18,519 potholes and delivering 385 highway maintenance schemes ranging from drainage works to carriageway and footway resurfacing.