Essential roadworks to address ash dieback on key road

Somerset County Council’s Highways team is continuing work to remove diseased and dangerous ash trees from our roadsides.

The latest safety scheme, on the Polden Hills section of the A39 Bath Road between the Crandon Bridge traffic signals at Bawdrip and the A361 Pipers Inn junction at Ashcott, will take place across two weeks.

Work starts on Monday 19 April, between 9am and 3.30pm each day, and is scheduled to end on Friday 30 April. The road will be reopened to traffic outside these times and during the weekend of April 24-25.

The operation will see a number of dead or diseased trees affected by ash dieback removed. The fungus, otherwise known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is a national problem expected to kill or seriously damage over 95 per cent of the nation’s ash trees.

Thousands of trees have been felled across the county over the last 12 months – including recently on Plummer’s Lane (B3135) near Cheddar and at A39 Bristol Hill near Wells.

A Somerset County Council spokesperson said: “Since ash dieback was first discovered in the county nine years ago, we’ve been working hard to keep our roads safe.

We plan proactive work to remove these trees and prevent them becoming a hazard to road users.

“It is a real shame to lose more beautiful trees in our county, but the safety of the public has to come first – this is a national problem affecting all Local Authorities across the UK.”