TWO main roads will be closed this month while urgent work to remove diseased trees is carried out.

Work starts on the A39 at Puriton and the B3227 at Norton Fitzwarren on Monday (January 10).

Somerset County Council's (SCC) highways team will carry out the work to remove diseased and dangerous ash trees.

There will be a full road closure on the A39 until Friday, January 14, between the Puriton Hill junction on Bath Road to the A361 Pipers Inn junction at Ashcott.

The closure will be in force between 9.15am and 3.30pm for that working week, and a signed diversion will be in place. The road will be reopened outside of these times.

In Norton Fitzwarren, the clearance work will also require a road closure. This will be from January 10, between 9.15am and 3:30pm each day. It is scheduled to finish no later than Friday, January 21.

The road will be reopened to traffic outside these times, on weekends and a signed diversion will be in place.

Councillor John Woodman, SCC cabinet member for highways, said the work is needed to prevent the trees 'becoming a hazard'.

"The risk of ash dieback near busy roads is a problem for all councils and we’ve been working hard to keep our roads safe since it was first detected in Somerset nearly ten years ago," he said.

“It needs urgent proactive work to remove these trees and prevent them becoming a hazard, and whilst we know this may cause road users some short-term inconvenience, the safety of the public remains paramount – doing nothing isn’t an option. We’d advise road users to please plan ahead while these works are happening.”

It’s been necessary to fell trees across the county during the last two years to keep road users safe – including on Plummer’s Lane (B3135) near Cheddar and at A39 Bristol Hill near Wells.

READ MORE: A39 at Bristol Hill, Wells, closed for nearly two weeks to cut down trees

This operation will see several dead or diseased trees affected by ash dieback removed. The fungus, otherwise known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is a national problem expected to kill or seriously damage over 95 per cent of the nation’s ash trees.