Team effort aims to improve lives by tackling flooding

Works to reduce hazardous flooding on the main road serving West Somerset are set to be carried out next month by Somerset County Council Highways. 

The A39 at Carhampton Cross has long been a flooding trouble spot, with excessive water regularly posing a danger to road users or making it impassable. This has caused widespread disruption for residents, businesses and visitors. Water cascading down from Carhampton Cross has also regularly flooded the B3191 Eastbury Road and hit people’s homes. 

Now Somerset County Council is teaming up with Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) to deliver a £350,000 scheme of major drainage improvements, commencing 11 October, followed by carriageway resurfacing. The work includes significant upgrades to help manage water volumes including bigger pipes, better gullies, and new water control features such as concrete chambers and a catch-pit. 

The extent of the work means road closures are needed to carry out the works. Diversions will be in place from Williton and Dunster out across Exmoor. 

Some key points: 

  • The drainage improvements are taking place on the A39, B3191 Eastbury Road, Hill Lane and Orchard Road in Carhampton.  
  • A39 drainage works start on Monday, 11 October for three weeks. The road will be closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm Monday to Friday. Outside these hours it will be open with temporary traffic lights in place. 
  • Exceptions will be made for emergency service vehicles or HGVs over 17 tonnes and/or 9.5m in length, which will be escorted through the roadworks twice a day at 11am and 2pm. 
  • Hill Lane drainage works start 11 October and are set to last five weeks. This will be a 24-hour closure with no access except for residents. 
  • A39 resurfacing works follow once the drainage work is completed. The road will only be closed evenings from 6.30pm to 11.30pm over five days, subject to weather conditions, to carry out the work. There will also be noaccess to the B3191 Blue Anchor Road during these hours.  
  • Eastbury Road B3191 drainage work commences once the A39 is complete, under a daytime 8am-4pm closure for approximately two weeks. The route will be open outside these hours under temporary lights. 
  • Deliveries and access for people and businesses in Carhampton will be accommodated throughout the works by liaison with operational staff on site. Access for cyclists and pedestrians will also be maintained. 

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Thousands of people in the Carhampton Cross area have been hit badly by flooding for too long.  

“During periods of heavy rain, existing drainage systems just get overwhelmed, so we need to act. If we don’t, the problem will only get worse. 

“Thanks to Somerset Rivers Authority funding we can do just that and deliver this crucial scheme. I recognise that roadworks and road closures are rarely popular, but this scheme will make a big difference to people’s ability to get safely through Carhampton in the future. 

“There will be some short-term disruption while the work is being done, but please bear with us. Every effort will be made to get the work done as quickly as possible. While work is ongoing, please plan ahead if you need to use this route.” 

During the road closures a diversion route will be clearly signposted on site or can be found at

Stay up to date with this and other roadworks schemes by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter and liking the Travel Somerset page on Facebook.

Somerset County Council looks after 4,172 miles of road and in 2020/21 invested £23.1m to keep the county moving. Highways teams filled 19,282 potholes last year and carried out 556 highway maintenance schemes ranging from drainage works to carriageway and footway resurfacing.