Somerset Rivers Authority tackles A38 flooding

Thousands of drivers will benefit from works funded by Somerset Rivers Authority, to reduce flooding between Taunton and Wellington.

Improvements are due to begin in February to the A38 near Rumwell, which has long been badly affected by flooding. The road’s drainage system is more than 90 years old and cannot cope during times of heavy rain. Repairs and upgrades will be delivered for Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) by Somerset County Council.

Further SRA-funded drainage works on the A38 at Chelston are expected to follow in 2019. They too will be designed and delivered for the SRA by the county council.

Cllr John Osman, SRA Chair, said: “The A38 is one of Somerset’s busiest roads. It’s used by more than 17,000 vehicles every day and we know that when just half the carriageway floods at Rumwell, it can cause gridlock. The problem’s even worse if the M5 is closed and the A38 is being used as a diversion.

“A key objective of Somerset’s 20 Year Flood Action Plan, drawn up in 2014, is to make our infrastructure more resilient. The SRA is funding work at Rumwell, then at Chelston, because we want to help people get on with their lives and keep businesses moving.”

Works are provisionally due to start on Monday, 12 February and take around six weeks. Most activity will be along the side of the road so while the A38 will not be closed, temporary two-way traffic lights will be needed. These will be manually controlled at peak times and removed wherever possible to minimise disruption.

Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The A38 is a very important road, so it’s imperative we make sure it is resilient in times of bad weather.

“I’m pleased we have been able to team up with the Somerset Rivers Authority to plan two major flood-prevention schemes along this key route.”

If you have any queries about this work, please contact Somerset County Council on 0300 123 2224 or email You can also stay up to date with this scheme by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter or visiting

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