Have your say on Watchet road closure
On 12 January the road between Watchet and Blue Anchor, the B3191 at Cleeve Hill was closed. This followed the results of a geotechnical survey. Detailed inspections carried out by Somerset County Council have revealed further movement is inevitable. SCC now say it will be impossible to safely reopen the road without major intervention. That means Government funding and SCC suggest that means it is likely the road will remain closed indefinitely.
SCC and Somerset West and Taunton Council will now run a public consultation on the closure. It will be held at Watchet’s Phoenix Centre on Thursday, 23 March from 4-7pm.
The drop-in event will offer the chance for people to talk to officers about issues affecting businesses. A geotechnical specialist will be joining the Council’s Highways team to answer any questions people may have.
There will be an opportunity to cover a range of other enquiries and concerns including:
· Road safety and highways issues arising on the surrounding network due to increased volume of traffic
· Economic impact on businesses
· Community transport options, including a link bus service
· Potential for active travel alternative routes
· Possible options for a new route should funding become available
· Measures to support and promote Watchet
Local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has pledged to support a fresh request for Government funding. He recognises that the cost of resetting the road has put as high as £28 million. However the MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset says the money must be found from somewhere. If not he claims the long-term economic damage to Watchet would be ‘unthinkable’.
Traders have told the MP that the road needs to be reopened in time for the holiday season. However Mr Liddell-Grainger said he believed the situation was simply too perilous for that to happen.