Somerset Council announces free bus shuttle bus and drop-in event ahead of A30 repairs closure

Somerset Council is providing free shuttle bus services and a range of other support measures for communities during a major road repair scheme on the A30 in West Coker near Yeovil.

Ahead of works commencing on 21 July, the Council is also running a public drop-in event with West Coker Parish Council on Wednesday 12 July in the Village Hall at Churlands Close, to cover both the A30 works and the indefinite closure of nearby Chinnock Hollow.

Residents and businesses will be able to meet officers ask questions as well as discussing any concerns they have.

Chinnock Hollow closed in 2021 after a serious landslide and an independent report has outlined a cost of up to £2.7 million to make it safe.

Somerset Council’s Highways teams will be resurfacing 7,000 sqm of West Coker’s High Street and replacing ageing traffic signals on a narrow section of the road between 21 July and 4 September in what is a significant investment in the local network. A full closure will need to be in place throughout the works and to reduce the impact on the local community Somerset Council is putting together a package of measures which include:

Free shuttle bus services from West Coker to Yeovil, and West Coker to Crewkerne. The timetable has been put together so that the shuttle buses connect with the 96 and the 6 to allow onward travel to Chard and Bridport. The shuttle buses, which are being run by South West Coaches and the Council, will also connect East Chinnock, Haselbury Plucknett, North Perrot and Misterton with Crewkerne/Chard and Yeovil.

There will also be:

*Gates at either end of the A30 closure staffed 24-hours a day to ensure access for residents and businesses throughout.

*A dedicated community liaison officer on site Monday to Friday to support residents and businesses.

*Convenient access to the GP surgery and businesses throughout the closure.

Emergency services will continue to have full access to all properties at all times in West Coker. For the majority of the road closure, emergency vehicles will also be permitted through-access to East Chinnock.

A Somerset Council spokesperson said: “These works in West Coker are long over-due and have been welcomed by the community and local members.

“The traffic lights are being replaced as part of our £16.6 million signals refurbishment programme and we are carrying out the resurfacing works at the same time to avoid further future disruption.

“We’ve tried to minimise the impact by carrying out the work during the summer holidays when traffic on the A30 is reduced by 50 per cent.

“But we do understand this will still cause disruption, especially to bus services.

“That’s why we have put together a comprehensive shuttle bus service to link communities and maintain those vital transport links between local towns and villages while the works are underway.

“We understand the concerns people may have about the A30 works and about the recent confirmation that the road through Chinnock Hollow cannot reopen, so we would urge people to attend our drop-in event in West Coker on 12 July.”

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