Landslip and Emergency Road Closure

B3227 Wiveliscombe Road, Preston Bowyer, Milverton

The B3227 at Preston Bowyer, east of Milverton was closed as an emergency last Wednesday evening (17th June) due to a landslip falling onto the road, following a series of intense thunderstorms.  Clearance work then commenced to remove the debris from the road and to stabilise the road cutting slope.

On Monday 22nd June, further progress was made in removing loose material from the road cutting slope and clearing debris from the road surface.  Unfortunately, progress was limited by the reach capacity of SCC Highways’ excavators.  Today they will be bringing one in with a longer reach so that that it can get to the very top part of the slope, where it meets the field.

The water run-off and the slippage have produced what rock climbers and skiers call a ‘cornice’ effect, with large chunks of clay and stones sitting unsupported and unstable above the road.  This may not be apparent to road users as it is not in their sight-line, and especially so at night when it cannot be seen at all.  It is for this reason that the emergency road closure needs to remain in place until these pinnacles can be safely removed.  The forecast of dry, warm weather over the next few days will also be of assistance in stabilising things.

As a result, the B3227 is closed between the Mill Race Roundabout at Milverton and Preston Bowyer village.  A signed diversion remains in place today using the B3187 Milverton to Wellington Road and then the A38 to Taunton as an alternative route.