Warning to avoid Axbridge as shortcut during pipeline work

Bristol Water is warning drivers not to use a town as a shortcut while a 30km (19 mile) pipeline is built.

It said "ultimately we don't control the roads" and urged vehicles not to cut through Axbridge, in Somerset, but to "stick to the main road".

Mayor Ian Laken said road works caused by digging up the A371 "will have an impact on the town".

The £27m project involves laying 30km of new water main from Barrow Gurney to Cheddar to supply 280,000 homes.

'One way in and out'

Ben Newby, from Bristol Water, said: "It's a very narrow piece of road there and could cause all sorts of problems - so people really need to stick to the main road.

"We apologise in advance for the disruption. It is inevitable with a scheme of this size but we do need to put the pipeline in to secure the supply for now and for the future."

Mr Laken said: "The major concern is how it will impact on the town and the traffic. There's only one way in and one way out into Axbridge.

"If the road works take place on the bypass, thereby shutting one lane and having traffic lights, people may use it as a cut-through. This will snarl up the town.

"We can't stop people coming through the town but we would ask people not to use it as a shortcut."

He said they had "expressed their fears" to Bristol Water and said the company had been "extremely positive in liaising with us".

A public meeting is taking place at Axbridge Town Hall at 19:30 BST.

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