SOMERSET Council is giving pedestrians temporary access to the Cleeve Hill B3191 cliff top road for the Easter holidays.

The route will be open to walkers from Good Friday (March 29).

Over the coming weeks, work will be done to provide a safe arrangement so that the route can be shared with cyclists.

Following concerns about cliff stability, the road closed in January 2023. Since that time, the council has been working with the Watchet Task Force, representing the town council and Chamber of Trade, to minimise the impact of the closure.

A package of measures has also been put into place to support the town.

Geological consultant Geckoella has deemed the cliff safe for walkers after months of careful monitoring.

The road cannot be opened to motor vehicles, including motorbikes, due to weight issue concerns and the proximity to the cliff edge.

 Councillor Richard Wilkins, Somerset Council’s lead member for Transport and Digital said: “This is fantastic news.

"We know the closure of the Cleeve Hill road was extremely difficult for the community in Watchet and has caused a lot of concern. 

“The Council has been working with Watchet Task Force to minimise this, and our consultant has been looking whether some kind of access was possible. 

“Providing access to walkers, and eventually cyclists is going to be hugely beneficial for Watchet and the nearby holiday parks towards Blue Anchor.  

“We’re delighted this is now happening. It means holiday makers and residents affected by the closure can now leave their cars and walk into town in a matter of minutes – it’s great for tourism and for local businesses.” 
Councillor Sean Terrett, chair of Watchet Task Force and Watchet Town Councillor, added: “On behalf of the Watchet Task Force I would like to express my gratitude to Somerset Council’s Highways Team as well as the consultants at Geckoella for their hard work in making this possible.
“I am sure that our town’s many visitors, residents and businesses will be very excited to see this popular walking and cycling route restored and reconnected to the tourist hotspots located within the Cleeve Hill area. 

“The positive impact this will have on our town’s many shops this Easter and throughout the summer will be phenomenal, and one that we as a community have truly missed since the closure of the B3191.
“We look forward to welcoming friends old and new from the walking community and in some weeks’ time from the cycling community to our beautiful town, with open arms.”