Urgent road closure needed in Wells

Action is being taken to remove diseased ash trees posing a hazard near a key road in Wells next week.

Somerset County Council’s Highways Team is working with local landowners to remove a significant number of trees lining the A39 at Bristol Hill, which are infected with Ash Dieback.

The road will need to be closed for the safety of the public and motorists while this is carried out. Ash Dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) is a fungus that will kill or seriously effect over 95 per cent of our ash trees. Dead and diseased trees growing adjacent to the highway can potentially fall into the carriageway if they are not cut down.

Teams from the Council and landowners are carrying out the work from  Monday 11 January 2021, and the closure on Bristol Hill, will be from 9am to 3pm for 9 weekdays until Thursday 21 January.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said: “It is essential that the dead and dying trees in Wells are taken down for public safety as soon as possible, so it is great that our team were able to work in partnership with the landowners and act swiftly to solve the problem.

“We needed to ensure this could be done safely so there will be a closure for nine days, but this will be lifted at weekends and after 3pm to allow traffic to flow at peak hours.

“Given the current national restrictions traffic will undoubtedly be lighter with motorists only undertaking essential journeys. Nevertheless, you should still plan ahead if you are heading in this direction.”

During the road closure a suggested diversion route will be clearly signposted on site or can be found at www.travelsomerset.co.uk/roadworks. Every effort will be made to keep the duration of the works to a minimum.

Information for landowners who suspect they may have ash trees on their land is available here https://www.somerset.gov.uk/waste-planning-and-land/ash-dieback/ 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 2019/20 invested £26.1m 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.

Submitted by Communications