MAJOR works set to close a stretch of a busy road connecting Minehead to Taunton has been scrapped - for the time being.

Somerset County Council announced it is postponing the drainage scheme on a flood-hit stretch of the A358 just hours after informing the public it would take place from later this month.

The project near Yard Farm, at Combe Florey, near Bishops Lydeard will now be scheduled at a later date.

The reason for the U-turn has not yet been revealed.

It had been due to start on Monday. April 25, with drivers warned of disruption until Friday, May 27.

Traffic signals in operation were set to be operational between 9.30am and 3.30pm, with a 24/7 road closure over three days from Monday, May 9.

The same stretch of road was closed for several weeks last year after an embankment collapsed due to flooding from a nearby stream and run-off water from a field.

Announcing the scheme was due to start this month, David Carter, Somerset County Council’s interim deputy director for economic and community infrastructure, told the Countyy Gazette yesterday (Tuesday, April 5): “Since last year our highways team has been working closely with the local landowner and the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest to try and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“As well as the drainage improvement works our team is carrying out, the FWAG SW has worked with the landowner on a new planting regime to reduce surface run-off and the landowner is installing attenuation ponds and swales in the field adjacent to the A358 to help ensure this stretch isn’t flooded in the future during similar events."

Somerset Rivers Authority Senior Manager David Mitchell added: “Flooding on this stretch of road is a regular problem and a major inconvenience for road users.

“A key factor is the surface water run-off from nearby steep fields, which has been filling the road’s drainage system with silt, then flooding the road.

"The SRA-funded work that Somerset Highways team is undertaking with the landowner and FWAG SW, alongside improvements to the road’s drainage, will make a huge difference."

Pub landlady Jane Bishop, who runs the Farmers Arms in Combe Florey, hit out at the council yesterday, claiming she had not been informed the work was due to be carried out this month.

The pub, which was burnt down in 2017 and then closed during the Covid lockdown, said she lost trade during the flood works last year.

She said: "We've had no contact from the council about this.

"They should come out and tell us what they're planning to do.

"All these road closures are damaging business.

"Last year they put a sign at Cross Keys saying, 'Road ahead closed'. That didn't help anyone because it didn't say where the closure was."

READ MORE: Anger as flood works to cause weeks of disruption.