Drivers face fuel-guzzling 52-mile trip so council can fix just 546 yards of road
- Somerset County Council say the work on 546 yards of the A39 is ‘essential’
- Motorists will travel along a new 52 mile diversion while work is completed
Frustrated motorists will be forced to complete a fuel-guzzling 52-mile monstrous magical mystery tour round the wilds of Exmoor – so a 546 yard (500 metre) stretch of road can be repaired.
Drivers will have to hope their satnav finds a way through the maze of narrow, winding lanes as they travel across two counties to reach their destination.
Somerset County Council will be carrying out repairs on the A39 Selworthy Road between Minehead and Porlock over two phases in March.
Traffic will be diverted around the southern side of the Dunkery Beacon and over the border into Devon.
During the road closures, traffic wishing to reach Porlock from the east will be diverted back through Minehead along the A39, take the A396 through Dunster and picked up the B3224 at Wheddon Cross.
Drivers will have to make use of a 52 mile diversion across the countryside
Traffic will be rooted through the wilds of Exmoor taking in views of Dunkery Beacon
From there they will head west along the B3223 and B3358 through Simonsbath, rejoining the A39 at Blackmoor Gate on the Devon side of the Exmoor national park and head east via Lynton and Lynmouth – a diversion which could add up to 52 miles to their journey.
The council said ‘The work has been timed to keep disruption to a minimum and is essential to ensure drains and gullies are in working order.
‘The highways team will be undertaking preparatory work on March 6th and 10th, with the road being closed between 9.30am and 3pm each day and temporary traffic lights being in force outside of these times.
‘All HGV vehicles over 17 tonnes and/or over 9.5m in length which need to pass through this stretch of road will be held at holding areas, with access being granted between 1pm and 1.30pm daily. Emergency vehicles will be able to pass through the site unimpeded.
‘Between March 13th and 16th, the road will be closed between 6pm and 7am to allow for night-time resurfacing work – with the A39 being reopened for daytime traffic throughout this latter period.
Coun Mike Rigby, portfolio holder for transport and digital, said ‘We delayed these works to find a more suitable time so the closures will have a reduced impact on road users.
‘The work is essential – we are improving drainage and carrying out repairs.. However, we understand there will still be disruption which is why undertaking these works outside peaks hour is likely to limit just that.
‘Our team will do everything they can to minimise this. Our team will be in touch with residents and businesses in the immediate area to ensure they have all the information they need. Please do check the details on the diversion and plan ahead if you use this route regularly.’