MOTORISTS have been told to slow down on a main road between Taunton and Wellington.

Somerset County Council is imposing new speed limits on the A38 between the two towns in a bid to make the highway safer in response to the number of injuries resulting from crashes on the stretch of road.

The 50mph limit has been replaced by a 40mph limit, while the previous national speed limit section will now be 50mph.

The council said the speed reductions are being put in place - but sign alterations may be delayed due to bad weather.

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We are currently in the process of changing speed limits on the A38 between Taunton and Wellington.

"This scheme was developed in response to safety concerns and the records of injury collisions occurring along the road. The scheme reduces the speed limit to 40 miles per hour from Wellington to the A38 near Bradford on Tone, and then 50 miles per hour to Rumwell on the entry into Taunton.

“The works are underway with the sign alterations being carried out initially, followed by the changes to the lining.

"This element can be weather dependent, so may take a bit longer to complete. We would ask road users to bear with us while we make these safety improvements.”

A cycling group in Taunton has welcomed the speed reduction, as the group feels more people would use the road if there were safer conditions.

But Taunton Area Cycling Campaign says speeds could be reduced further to make the roads more usable for cyclists.

Mike Ginger, spokesperson for TACC, said: "We welcome reductions in speed limits which help to reduce the number and severity of people killed and injured in vehicle crashes.

"Our survey of why many people are reluctant to cycle identified A38 Wellington-Taunton as one of the top 15 'hot spots' in the area.

"We are therefore working with Wellington Wheelers and Sustrans do develop options for providing a safe route between the two towns, supported by Wellington Town Council and Somerset West and Taunton Council.

"A reduction of speed limits will help to achieve a solution for safe cycling.

"Around 75 people commute by bike between Wellington and Taunton. According to the Department of Transport forecasting model this would increase to 500-600 if a Dutch style safe route is provided and as people take up the use of e bikes.

"Safety and consistency could be further improved by extending the 40mph on the approach to Taunton."