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Somerset residents despair at village becoming rat run for motorists due to A-road closure

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Monkton Heathfield has been plagued by traffic following since a closure on the A38 in Taunton saw motorists diverted towards their village. Rather than using a diversion towards Monkton Heathfield which joins the Western Relief Road and back onto the A38, some drivers have been ignoring the advice and heading straight through the village instead.

Motorists may be using the route as it takes them to the A38 just past the Monkton Elm Garden Centre.

However, attempts have been made to stop traffic racing through when it is unnecessary.

A new 20mph speed limit has been set up to put drivers off from using the village as a rat run.

The A38 road closure will last until July 2022.

Despite the speed limit, elderly and schoolchildren still remain in danger, as the speed limit has not proved to be effective in stopping motorists from using the route.

Shellie Baker said: “I worry for the safety of children as they go to and from Heathfield school and feel that the whole road plan is massively flawed.

“Why make the straight main road a 20mph zone but keep Milton Hill and other smaller roads nearby as a 30mph zone?

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Andrew Rule said: “Milton Hill has become a real rat run and puts children going to and from school in danger as well as others.

“Yallands Hill is also very bad and traffic almost entirely travels at 30mph or above from my regular walks with the dog.”

Despite admitting that the new speed limit was a good idea, he admitted the limit did have its flaws.

Mr Rule said: “My concern is no thought was put into which other roads required the same reduction. Milton Hill, Bawler Road, Greenways.”

However, some residents believe the new Western Relief Road has not encouraged motorists to use the diversion.

Lesley Tortuga said: The relief road has provided no relief! We need a bus gate on the A3259 to move drivers onto the Western Relief Road and Eastern Relief Road, the route that they are supposed to be using.”



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