AN ELDERLY man with health issues is blaming the council for being unable to sell his home so he can move closer to his family.

The council has told Alan Rice, 78, it has no cash this year to install a safety barrier to prevent vehicles rolling down a bank into the garden of his home in just outside Norton Fitzwarren.

And he says estate agents have refused to put his cottage on their books until safety measures are put in place by the council.

The barrier at the side of the railway bridge just before the village coming from the Milverton direction was destroyed by a car in April 2017.

Mr Rice was woken at 3am as the car smashed through the barrier and shot down the bank - the 29th time a vehicle had landed in his garden since he moved in 40 years ago.

He said: "I thought the council would put it right, but when nothing had been done after a year I contacted them.

"All they've done is put four cones down, which you can't see from the road. They've got problems with money and say they probably can't do anything until after next April.

"I've been rushed to hospital en times with health problems since the council spoke to me last year.

"My daughters - who live in North Curry and Stoke St Gregory - say I need to move closer to them so they can look after me.

"But when I got a couple of estate agents round with a view to selling the cottage, they refused. They said, 'We can't put it on the market like that - you won't stand a chance of selling it without a barrier'.

"I'm looking to get out, but I'm stuck and can't move until I sell the house."

A Somerset County Council spokesman said the authority was aware of the safety issues on the stretch of the B3227 road and that considerable resources have been invested in road safety measures there "over the years following a number of incident".

He added: "The work we now plan to undertake, which will include new railings at the top of the bank, is structurally substantial, due to the deterioration of the bank.

"It will require significant planning and we are in discussions with our contractor, having made some preliminary site visits.

"Temporary barriers and cones are in place for the safety or motorists and pedestrians."