FAULTY equipment was behind the closure of a West Somerset coastal road, officials have said.

The B3191 West Street, Cleeve Hill, Watchet, was shut on December 27 after sensors at the site detected potential movement in the cliff face below.

However, Somerset County Council's Highways team has now said the alert was triggered by a sensor failure and the road was re-opened to traffic on Saturday.

Andrew Turner, strategic manager - highways at the council, said: "I am pleased to confirm the B3191 West Street, Cleeve Hill has now been re-opened to traffic.

"You will recall the road was closed due to alerts from sensors placed on the cliff face.

"Following a detailed survey of the cliff face, and examination of the data information from the site, it has been concluded the road is safe to re-open.

"The geotechnical challenges affecting the cliff face are complex requiring a high degree of electronic stability monitoring.

"Unfortunately, one of the in-situ sensors suffered a failure triggering the alert.

"The sensor has been replaced and the telemetry reset.

"Setting aside the technology failure, the current contingency arrangements worked well and the Somerset County Council Highways team was mobilised within minutes of the original alert and the road was closed quickly.

"The patience and support from local residents and adjacent communities is appreciated."

Somerset County Gazette: