SRA Annual Report 2019-20: A38 Blackbird Bends flood alleviation study

In 2017-18 Somerset Rivers Authority funded drainage improvements on the A38 at Rumwell.

In 2018-19, a new drainage pipe was installed for the SRA across the A38 near Chelston.

In 2019-20, a study began into the catchment upstream of the area around Blackbird Bends on the A38 near Wellington. The aim is to identify works that will further reduce the risks of flooding along this busy and important road, which is used by more than 17,000 vehicles every day. Also, if the M5 is closed, the A38 is used as a diversion, so it is important to keep it open.

On behalf of the SRA, Somerset County Council commissioned consultants WSP. Surveys of local watercourses and culverts have been carried out and a model produced of local flow mechanisms.

Results and recommendations are expected by autumn 2020.


Every year Somerset Rivers Authority aims to fund a small number of investigations.

The SRA looks particularly for issues that lie beyond the scope of what other individual organisations can do on their own – or for issues that fall between the gaps of what other organisations are doing – or for some combination of the two.

As a co-ordinating body, the SRA can get different organisations working together as partners in ways they would do not otherwise.

Niggly problems do not get neglected; better results follow.


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