A39 closure at Dragon's Cross causing chaos for road users in Somerset

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  • Work starts on the A39 at Dragon's Cross near Bilbook
  • It will last for three weeks
  • Road out of use for vehicles between 9am and 3.30pm
  • Traffic lights at Dunster causing major delays

4:33pm

SOMERSET County Council has said it will be monitoring the road works on a daily basis.

3:39pm

BUS services are still operating while the road works are taking place.

Webber Buses are running a smaller service via Blue Anchor and First Buses are running a free shuttle bus operating between the West Somerset Railway Stations in Washford and Watchet.

Normal service will operate when the road is open. 


John Simms who works for West Somerset Railway said he had trouble getting into work this morning.

He said:"I presented myself at Taunton Bus Station for the 7.05 to Minehead which arrived from Minehead as a large bus with the driver due to swap to the smaller one.

"Alas the “replacement” vehicle would not start. There appeared to be no-one in the control office, the waiting room was locked and by the time another “replacement” had been obtained the departure was at 7.31, nicely timed to get into the roadworks at Taunton railway station just as the town got busy.

"So people were late for work, as were students going to college and other users. I sat contemplating the sign saying “Enjoy Travelling First” and wondering if such a feat is possible. At least most of the “We believe there should always be a bus when you need one” posters have been taken down."

1:30pm

1:17pm

WRITING on Facebook, Rebecca Dean said: "My mum drives my sister to Watchet to catch her bus to Cannington as it doesn't go from Minehead needless to say she missed her bus so my mum had to drive her (nearly missing her hospital appointment) and my sister was late to college as was held up for an hour between Minehead and watchet."

Candice Hodgkins added: "It's shocking and very unorganised! Even though diversions are in place there seems to be roadworks everywhere, Dunster is chaos due to scaffolding at the Luttrell with no traffic lights there. You have Butlin's traffic, school traffic, work traffic...disgusting. There's no way they can keep this up for 4 weeks!"

Will Rayner said: "To start these roadworks on the main arterial on a Monday after a weekend break at Butlin's shows the complete lack of planning by Highways department. Apparently they're not being done at night because of too many services in middle of the road?"

 

1:05pm

SOMERSET County Council have supplied the follwing information regarding diversion routes:

Phase 1 alternative route for vehicles under 18 Tonnes and 31’ 2” (9.5m) in length.

From the eastern end of the closure proceed in an easterly direction along the A39 to the junction with the B3190.

Turn right and proceed in a south westerly direction along the B3190 to the junction withm the B3224.

Turn right and proceed in a north westerly direction along the B3224 to the junction with Stone Lane to Heathpoult Cross.

Turn right and proceed in a southerly direction along Stone Lane to Heathpoult Cross, Vinnecombe Straight, Combeshead Cross to Stoford Hill, White Post Cross to Combeshead Cross, Lyddons Cross to White Post Cross, Louisa Gate to Lyddons Cross and Bury Hill to the junction with the A396.

Turn right and proceed in a north easterly direction along the A396 to the junction with the A39.

Turn right and proceed in a south easterly direction along the A396 to the western end of the closure and vice versa.


Vehicles in excess of 18 Tonnes and 31’ 2” (9.5m) in length will be suitably signed on site.


Phase 2
From the northern end of the closure proceed in north easterly and south easterly directions along the A39 to the junction with Abbey Road.

Turn right and proceed in a southerly direction along Abbey Road to the junction with Roadwater to White Horse Pub.

Turn right and proceed in a south westerly direction along Roadwater to White Horse Pub to the junction with Battalers Lane.

Turn right and proceed in a northerly direction along Battalers Lane and Lodge rocks to the southern end of the closure and vice versa.

12:55pm

Somerset County Gazette:

MAP showing diversion routes which has been described as 'confusing'. IMAGE: Somerset County Council.

12:43pm

12:42pm

Already, people have reported missing appointments and buses.

Writing on Facebook, Smee Conway said: "Queues backing up from Carhampton towards Minehead this morning. Even worse if you divert through Dunster with the traffic lights creating major delays. I missed my appointment in Watchet, who do I address for compensation on loss of earnings?"

Cllr Gary Miele said: "As predicted it has not got off to a good start, really think highways need to rethink their plans."

 

For information about the works being carried out contact Alan Rawle on 0845-345-9155.

For further details of the alternative route please contact Somerset County Council on 0845-345-9155.
 

12:12pm

ROAD works at a notorious flood spot at the Dragon's Cross in Bilbrook started at 9am this morning to allow Somerset Highways to carry out drainage on the road.

The site flooded several times last winter resulting in an emergency closure of the road.

The work is taking place for three weeks and means that  the A39 from Minehead to Williton is out of use for vehichles between 9am and 3.30pm on weekdays. 

Somerset County Council released a statement saying work will be carried out in two phases.

Phase one is the A39 Minehead to Williton Road and Dragons Cross to Old Cleeve and is expected to last for three weeks.

Phase two is Lodge Rocks which is due to commence on November 25 and is expected to last for two weeks. 

Although diversions are in place for cars and light vehicles between Wahford Cross, Dunster and Minehead, road users have reported major delays and traffic cues as people try to figure out how to get around the road works. 

 

Vehicles over 18 tonnes or 9.5m in length cannot use the alternative routes and will only be allowed through the closed-off section at 11am and 1.30pm.

Comments (11)

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3:07pm Mon 4 Nov 13

Bryan Leaker MBE says...

Monday came and so did pandemonium 1.5 hours from the sea front to Dunster traffic lights, all because Somerset County Council "cannot Run a Bath"

When the council responded to long delays, they stated they were unaware Butlins was open!, why did they not check, queues stretched from Minehead all the way to Washford, locals tried via Watchet to find blockages there also, there needs to be asked questions of an inept county council, committed to cuts, not committed to service;

1 Why did they not plan the work at night?

2 Why did they not introduce a one way loop system vis toward Bridgwater, Taunton, via Carhampton, Blue Anchor and either Old Cleeve rejoining the A39 at Washford and routing inbound to Minehead via Raleighs Cross, Timberscombe and Dunster as an example?

3 Why not plan the work for January when Butlins is closed for 3 weeks and traffic would have been at its lightest?

4 West Somerset residents travelling into Minehead told me there were inadequate signage first thing they did not have the diversion signs in place in many areas before 09-30am

5 There is an agreement between Avon and Somerset Police and Highways as reported in the Free Press circa 1 month ago that in the event of a major incident they would introduce the loop system, this having been formalised was an ideal opportunity to implement and avoid mayhem which has ensued.

Its always a problem that costs have to be cut but when will we receive a quality service, the Highways Authority should plan to manage issues such as this, but no their poorly thought out plans demonstrate there inability to "Run a Bath" never lone plan with the community, tourism and business in mind.


Bryan Leaker
Monday came and so did pandemonium 1.5 hours from the sea front to Dunster traffic lights, all because Somerset County Council "cannot Run a Bath" When the council responded to long delays, they stated they were unaware Butlins was open!, why did they not check, queues stretched from Minehead all the way to Washford, locals tried via Watchet to find blockages there also, there needs to be asked questions of an inept county council, committed to cuts, not committed to service; 1 Why did they not plan the work at night? 2 Why did they not introduce a one way loop system vis toward Bridgwater, Taunton, via Carhampton, Blue Anchor and either Old Cleeve rejoining the A39 at Washford and routing inbound to Minehead via Raleighs Cross, Timberscombe and Dunster as an example? 3 Why not plan the work for January when Butlins is closed for 3 weeks and traffic would have been at its lightest? 4 West Somerset residents travelling into Minehead told me there were inadequate signage first thing they did not have the diversion signs in place in many areas before 09-30am 5 There is an agreement between Avon and Somerset Police and Highways as reported in the Free Press circa 1 month ago that in the event of a major incident they would introduce the loop system, this having been formalised was an ideal opportunity to implement and avoid mayhem which has ensued. Its always a problem that costs have to be cut but when will we receive a quality service, the Highways Authority should plan to manage issues such as this, but no their poorly thought out plans demonstrate there inability to "Run a Bath" never lone plan with the community, tourism and business in mind. Bryan Leaker Bryan Leaker MBE
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Mon 4 Nov 13

Dr Dave says...

Perhaps those voicing their opinions would like to orchestrate the works themselves - we'll see how well you get on. There isn't an ideal way of carrying out these works, you can't please everybody.
Perhaps those voicing their opinions would like to orchestrate the [essential] works themselves - we'll see how well you get on. There isn't an ideal way of carrying out these works, you can't please everybody. Dr Dave
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Mon 4 Nov 13

FreeSpeech? says...

Dr Dave wrote:
Perhaps those voicing their opinions would like to orchestrate the works themselves - we'll see how well you get on. There isn't an ideal way of carrying out these works, you can't please everybody.
Ever heard of the saying "Couldn't organise a p*ss up in a brewery". Well that's how you describe the the councils of this country operate.
[quote][p][bold]Dr Dave[/bold] wrote: Perhaps those voicing their opinions would like to orchestrate the [essential] works themselves - we'll see how well you get on. There isn't an ideal way of carrying out these works, you can't please everybody.[/p][/quote]Ever heard of the saying "Couldn't organise a p*ss up in a brewery". Well that's how you describe the the councils of this country operate. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 0

8:03pm Mon 4 Nov 13

Samej1 says...

Dr Dave wrote:
Perhaps those voicing their opinions would like to orchestrate the works themselves - we'll see how well you get on. There isn't an ideal way of carrying out these works, you can't please everybody.
Well I couldn't have done any worse so quite happy to give it a go....
[quote][p][bold]Dr Dave[/bold] wrote: Perhaps those voicing their opinions would like to orchestrate the [essential] works themselves - we'll see how well you get on. There isn't an ideal way of carrying out these works, you can't please everybody.[/p][/quote]Well I couldn't have done any worse so quite happy to give it a go.... Samej1
  • Score: 0

11:07am Tue 5 Nov 13

Bubblesbonbon says...

Absolute nightmare in Watchet yesterday. Three refuse lorries and a number 28 bus had locked horns at the single file pinch point at the top of West Street. The main street was very dangerous for walkers due to cars and particularly SUV's mounting the pavement in order to pass.
I emailed Mr Liddell-Grainer two weeks ago suggesting that he have a chat with SCC to try and get some intelligent thought into the problem.
As usual not a peep back - I get more response from my garden gnome.
Absolute nightmare in Watchet yesterday. Three refuse lorries and a number 28 bus had locked horns at the single file pinch point at the top of West Street. The main street was very dangerous for walkers due to cars and particularly SUV's mounting the pavement in order to pass. I emailed Mr Liddell-Grainer two weeks ago suggesting that he have a chat with SCC to try and get some intelligent thought into the problem. As usual not a peep back - I get more response from my garden gnome. Bubblesbonbon
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Tue 5 Nov 13

deanrc says...

Age old story - forgotten West Somerset when it comes to investment. A bit of long needed drainage work which hasn't been planned with the best interests of those using that stretch of the A39 and non-realisation of any suitable alternative route. All this a week after work begins on the £22m relief road in Taunton! For years there has been a heavy bias to improving Taunton and South Somerset roads while West Somerset remains with 'A' roads fit for a horse and cart.
Age old story - forgotten West Somerset when it comes to investment. A bit of long needed drainage work which hasn't been planned with the best interests of those using that stretch of the A39 and non-realisation of any suitable alternative route. All this a week after work begins on the £22m relief road in Taunton! For years there has been a heavy bias to improving Taunton and South Somerset roads while West Somerset remains with 'A' roads fit for a horse and cart. deanrc
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Tue 5 Nov 13

deanrc says...

Bubblesbonbon wrote:
Absolute nightmare in Watchet yesterday. Three refuse lorries and a number 28 bus had locked horns at the single file pinch point at the top of West Street. The main street was very dangerous for walkers due to cars and particularly SUV's mounting the pavement in order to pass.
I emailed Mr Liddell-Grainer two weeks ago suggesting that he have a chat with SCC to try and get some intelligent thought into the problem.
As usual not a peep back - I get more response from my garden gnome.
Mr Liddell Grainger never replies to correspondence. He wouldn't want anything to do with a 'closure' only an 'opening' where he can get his face in the press. Last week he turned up to a jam jar opening. Not fit to lace Lord (Tom) King's boots!
[quote][p][bold]Bubblesbonbon[/bold] wrote: Absolute nightmare in Watchet yesterday. Three refuse lorries and a number 28 bus had locked horns at the single file pinch point at the top of West Street. The main street was very dangerous for walkers due to cars and particularly SUV's mounting the pavement in order to pass. I emailed Mr Liddell-Grainer two weeks ago suggesting that he have a chat with SCC to try and get some intelligent thought into the problem. As usual not a peep back - I get more response from my garden gnome.[/p][/quote]Mr Liddell Grainger never replies to correspondence. He wouldn't want anything to do with a 'closure' only an 'opening' where he can get his face in the press. Last week he turned up to a jam jar opening. Not fit to lace Lord (Tom) King's boots! deanrc
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Wed 6 Nov 13

littlemisstidy says...

deanrc wrote:
Age old story - forgotten West Somerset when it comes to investment. A bit of long needed drainage work which hasn't been planned with the best interests of those using that stretch of the A39 and non-realisation of any suitable alternative route. All this a week after work begins on the £22m relief road in Taunton! For years there has been a heavy bias to improving Taunton and South Somerset roads while West Somerset remains with 'A' roads fit for a horse and cart.
The A39 from Williton to Dunster is a dangerous road at the best of times with no proper attention from SCC given towards improving safety.
If the Highway Agency were doing their job as they should be, they could start by making it clear that using rat-runs wide enough for one vehicle, are not a good idea and further add to the problems.
And if many of the drivers who are coming through 30mph routes were to be a bit more respectful and slow down this too would help the situation.
[quote][p][bold]deanrc[/bold] wrote: Age old story - forgotten West Somerset when it comes to investment. A bit of long needed drainage work which hasn't been planned with the best interests of those using that stretch of the A39 and non-realisation of any suitable alternative route. All this a week after work begins on the £22m relief road in Taunton! For years there has been a heavy bias to improving Taunton and South Somerset roads while West Somerset remains with 'A' roads fit for a horse and cart.[/p][/quote]The A39 from Williton to Dunster is a dangerous road at the best of times with no proper attention from SCC given towards improving safety. If the Highway Agency were doing their job as they should be, they could start by making it clear that using rat-runs wide enough for one vehicle, are not a good idea and further add to the problems. And if many of the drivers who are coming through 30mph routes were to be a bit more respectful and slow down this too would help the situation. littlemisstidy
  • Score: 0

11:25pm Thu 7 Nov 13

sfj642 says...

Dr Dave wrote:
Perhaps those voicing their opinions would like to orchestrate the works themselves - we'll see how well you get on. There isn't an ideal way of carrying out these works, you can't please everybody.
They play football and cricket under floodlights; there is no reason the work could not have been carried out at night with modern floodlighting systems.

These works are not essential any way - the road only floods there once in a blue moon and for only a few hours and not often in the middle of the day; last year was exceptional in that the road was closed for short periods.

Blue Anchor is bad enough, but please give a thought to the people of Watchet who are having to live through this debacle.
[quote][p][bold]Dr Dave[/bold] wrote: Perhaps those voicing their opinions would like to orchestrate the [essential] works themselves - we'll see how well you get on. There isn't an ideal way of carrying out these works, you can't please everybody.[/p][/quote]They play football and cricket under floodlights; there is no reason the work could not have been carried out at night with modern floodlighting systems. These works are not essential any way - the road only floods there once in a blue moon and for only a few hours and not often in the middle of the day; last year was exceptional in that the road was closed for short periods. Blue Anchor is bad enough, but please give a thought to the people of Watchet who are having to live through this debacle. sfj642
  • Score: 0

11:34pm Thu 7 Nov 13

sfj642 says...

Bryan Leaker MBE wrote:
Monday came and so did pandemonium 1.5 hours from the sea front to Dunster traffic lights, all because Somerset County Council "cannot Run a Bath"

When the council responded to long delays, they stated they were unaware Butlins was open!, why did they not check, queues stretched from Minehead all the way to Washford, locals tried via Watchet to find blockages there also, there needs to be asked questions of an inept county council, committed to cuts, not committed to service;

1 Why did they not plan the work at night?

2 Why did they not introduce a one way loop system vis toward Bridgwater, Taunton, via Carhampton, Blue Anchor and either Old Cleeve rejoining the A39 at Washford and routing inbound to Minehead via Raleighs Cross, Timberscombe and Dunster as an example?

3 Why not plan the work for January when Butlins is closed for 3 weeks and traffic would have been at its lightest?

4 West Somerset residents travelling into Minehead told me there were inadequate signage first thing they did not have the diversion signs in place in many areas before 09-30am

5 There is an agreement between Avon and Somerset Police and Highways as reported in the Free Press circa 1 month ago that in the event of a major incident they would introduce the loop system, this having been formalised was an ideal opportunity to implement and avoid mayhem which has ensued.

Its always a problem that costs have to be cut but when will we receive a quality service, the Highways Authority should plan to manage issues such as this, but no their poorly thought out plans demonstrate there inability to "Run a Bath" never lone plan with the community, tourism and business in mind.


Bryan Leaker
According to the Highway Authority; "Butlins has been informed of the closure" - just informing them two weeks ahead when they are probably booked up a year in advance is pitiful.
I involved our County Councillor (Dunster) and presumably the Minehead County Councillor will also have been contacted. I have yet to hear what actions they took to soften matters for their constituents.
[quote][p][bold]Bryan Leaker MBE[/bold] wrote: Monday came and so did pandemonium 1.5 hours from the sea front to Dunster traffic lights, all because Somerset County Council "cannot Run a Bath" When the council responded to long delays, they stated they were unaware Butlins was open!, why did they not check, queues stretched from Minehead all the way to Washford, locals tried via Watchet to find blockages there also, there needs to be asked questions of an inept county council, committed to cuts, not committed to service; 1 Why did they not plan the work at night? 2 Why did they not introduce a one way loop system vis toward Bridgwater, Taunton, via Carhampton, Blue Anchor and either Old Cleeve rejoining the A39 at Washford and routing inbound to Minehead via Raleighs Cross, Timberscombe and Dunster as an example? 3 Why not plan the work for January when Butlins is closed for 3 weeks and traffic would have been at its lightest? 4 West Somerset residents travelling into Minehead told me there were inadequate signage first thing they did not have the diversion signs in place in many areas before 09-30am 5 There is an agreement between Avon and Somerset Police and Highways as reported in the Free Press circa 1 month ago that in the event of a major incident they would introduce the loop system, this having been formalised was an ideal opportunity to implement and avoid mayhem which has ensued. Its always a problem that costs have to be cut but when will we receive a quality service, the Highways Authority should plan to manage issues such as this, but no their poorly thought out plans demonstrate there inability to "Run a Bath" never lone plan with the community, tourism and business in mind. Bryan Leaker[/p][/quote]According to the Highway Authority; "Butlins has been informed of the closure" - just informing them two weeks ahead when they are probably booked up a year in advance is pitiful. I involved our County Councillor (Dunster) and presumably the Minehead County Councillor will also have been contacted. I have yet to hear what actions they took to soften matters for their constituents. sfj642
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Sat 9 Nov 13

mansell5 says...

littlemisstidy wrote:
deanrc wrote:
Age old story - forgotten West Somerset when it comes to investment. A bit of long needed drainage work which hasn't been planned with the best interests of those using that stretch of the A39 and non-realisation of any suitable alternative route. All this a week after work begins on the £22m relief road in Taunton! For years there has been a heavy bias to improving Taunton and South Somerset roads while West Somerset remains with 'A' roads fit for a horse and cart.
The A39 from Williton to Dunster is a dangerous road at the best of times with no proper attention from SCC given towards improving safety.
If the Highway Agency were doing their job as they should be, they could start by making it clear that using rat-runs wide enough for one vehicle, are not a good idea and further add to the problems.
And if many of the drivers who are coming through 30mph routes were to be a bit more respectful and slow down this too would help the situation.
The Highways Agency deal with motorways and trunk roads, not the A39.
[quote][p][bold]littlemisstidy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]deanrc[/bold] wrote: Age old story - forgotten West Somerset when it comes to investment. A bit of long needed drainage work which hasn't been planned with the best interests of those using that stretch of the A39 and non-realisation of any suitable alternative route. All this a week after work begins on the £22m relief road in Taunton! For years there has been a heavy bias to improving Taunton and South Somerset roads while West Somerset remains with 'A' roads fit for a horse and cart.[/p][/quote]The A39 from Williton to Dunster is a dangerous road at the best of times with no proper attention from SCC given towards improving safety. If the Highway Agency were doing their job as they should be, they could start by making it clear that using rat-runs wide enough for one vehicle, are not a good idea and further add to the problems. And if many of the drivers who are coming through 30mph routes were to be a bit more respectful and slow down this too would help the situation.[/p][/quote]The Highways Agency deal with motorways and trunk roads, not the A39. mansell5
  • Score: 0

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