New roads are first milestone in flood recovery

Two of the eight roads destroyed by June’s flash floods in the Chard area have now been fully restored by Somerset County Council Highways teams.

Extreme rainfall on June 28 saw unprecedented levels of water cascading through streets in Chard, flooding homes and businesses, while outlying villages were hit by rising watercourse levels which saw eight roads ripped apart and communities cut off.

The Council’s Highways Team and contractor Milestone Infrastructure have been working tirelessly in the area since – restoring access to villages, launching a major clear-up operation taking in Chard and the surrounding villages, as far as West Crewkerne, which saw thousands of tonnes of debris cleared from roads. The teams also carried out drainage works and have been clearing gullies and silt traps across the area.

Scrapton Lane in Combe St Nicholas reopened on 6 August after resurfacing was completed by the Council’s contractor Milestone Infrastructure just over five weeks after it was reduced to rubble. The road is a mile long and needed 5,600 square metres of material to repair it.
And this week the team moved on to Pudleigh Lane in Wadeford to complete resurfacing there. The resurfacing work continues on six more roads in Combe St Nicholas, Whitestaunton, Wadeford, Tatworth and Forton throughout the next few weeks.

“Our thoughts are with those residents and businesses who have been affected by this extreme weather event, we know this has been a an incredibly difficult time,” said Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
“I’d like to thank local people for their patience and support – immediately after their roads were destroyed, residents in outlying village were out helping with the clear-up operation and supporting our teams to ensure the repair work could begin.
“Our own teams and those of our contractor, Milestone Infrastructure are doing a great job, working flat out to clear, prepare and resurface roads which had in some places were destroyed beyond repair.
“But we know there is still a great deal more to do across the area in the wake of this extraordinary event and we are continuing to work through the issues with our partners and with the support of local people.”

Some of the work carried out by teams:
• A major inspection across a wide geographical area to assess the damage to roads.
• Ensuring the immediate area was made safe for residents and road users.
• Clearing thousands of tonnes of material washed up from roads and preparing it to be removed from the area – not just in and around Chard and surrounding villages but sites as far as Winsham and West Crewkerne were also badly hit.
• Sweeping roads across Chard and the surrounding area, clearing drains and gullies in the town and villages.
• Gully and silt trap clearance has taken place across Chard, West Crewkerne, Wayford, Cudworth, and Winsham.
• Restoring access as a matter of priority to the villages of Whitestaunton, (achieved over a temporary running surface) Combe St Nicholas, and Wadeford.
• Formalising eight road closures and ensuring access is maintained for residents with relevant traffic controls.
• Drawing up a comprehensive programme of works which will include miles of complete resurfacing of rural roads

Somerset County Council’s Flood and Water Management Team is conducting an investigation into the flooding event which will consider the number of impacted properties and affected infrastructure, possible causes, and identify the relevant risk management authorities involved. This will be summarised in a publicly available report.

If you wish to provide the team with information please email or use the Flood Online Reporting Tool here
If you wish to report issues on the highway please visit or email

Submitted by Communications