A KEY road through a popular Somerset beauty spot will be shut for ten weeks to allow for essential repairs.

Cothelstone Road runs across the Quantock Hills national landscape (formerly area of outstanding natural beauty, or AONB), linking the village of Bishop’s Lydeard, north-west of Taunton, with Enmore and the neighbouring villages to the west of Bridgwater.

Somerset Council and its new highways contractor Karesa Construction will be closing a short section of the road through Bishop’s Lydeard for ten weeks from January 22 to allow for a retaining wall to be repaired.

Motorists face a diversion of up to 13 miles to avoid the roadworks, which will be in force 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The road will be closed between the junction with Delta Rise and the junction with Pound Lane – a distance of around 80 yards.

On Pound Lane, the existing masonry wall will be repaired, while a new retaining wall and drainage system will be constructed opposite the Delta Rise turning.

Both elements are due to be completed by March 29, with motorists seeking to reach the Quantocks from the village being diverted back onto the A358 Pen Elm, into the Staplegrove area of Taunton and up through Kingston St. Mary.

Access will be maintained throughout for homes and businesses in the immediate area of the works.

The council, Karesa Construction and Fairhurst structural engineers will be represented at a drop-in session at Bishop’s Lydeard Village Hall on Wednesday (January 10) from 4pm to 6pm, giving residents the opportunity to learn more about the repairs and ask questions to the experts.

Councillor Richard Wilkins, portfolio holder for transport and digital, said: “This work needs to be done. We appreciate this will be disruptive for residents and road users and our contractor will do their best to minimise this.

“We’d encourage local people to come along to the drop-in session and raise any queries they may have regarding the work or access while it’s being carried out.”

For more details on the diversion, and other roadworks in your area, visit www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-travel-and-parking/roadworks-and-travel.